United States has 11000 troops in Afghanistan

02 September, 2017, 01:23 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • A US soldier holds the national flag ahead of a handover ceremony at Leatherneck Camp in Lashkar Gah in the Afghan province of Helmand

US Defense Secretary Jim Matisse said on Thursday he had signed deployment orders to send additional US troops to Afghanistan in line with President Trump's strategy for South Asia. "In other words I have signed some of the [orders for] troops that will go and we are identifying the specific ones", Mattis told reporters.

He added that the deployment of additional troops would strengthen the USA mission to advise and assist Afghan security forces in their fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

Mattis's decision to reverse the policy is a major rebuke of the Obama administration's emphasis on troop numbers.

The president announced a shift in strategy: "Conditions on the ground - not arbitrary timetables - will guide our strategy from now on". He added that no additional troops had moved in yet and could take a "couple of days".

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"Well, let me just be real clear", Mattis said.

The troop levels, aimed at "more transparency", were revealed at a joint news briefing by the Pentagon's Chief Spokesperson and Joint Staff Director Wednesday.

Pentagon Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie said that a comprehensive review showed there were around 11,000 uniformed U.S. servicemen and women in Afghanistan, compared to the 8,400 number that had been deployed since a year ago.

USA former president Barack Obama reportedly ended American combat missions in both Iraq andAfghanistan when he was in power, but American warplanes continued to target the Islamic State and the Taliban.

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Mattis did not disclose the number of troops to be added to the us contingent in Afghanistan, although officials have indicated it will be about 4,000. We want them to succeed.

Guns for sale inside a bazaar in Kabul's old city neighborhood on July 20, 2017 - United Nations reports the city has the highest number of civilian casualties, suicide attacks and terror threats. "But that will have to change".

The current fighting is part of a joint Afghanistan and USA campaign to defeat ISIS-K.

Previously, Defense Department officials had said 8,400 troops were in Afghanistan as part of NATO's Resolute Support mission. Trump has also dangled the possibility of bringing India - Pakistan's rival - deeper into the Afghanistan process unless Pakistan is more cooperative. It's widely believed that Afghanistan's Taliban leaders are living in Pakistan and that Pakistani hospitals treat the group's wounded.

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