Pentagon says 3,000 additional US troops now on ground in Afghanistan

The US Department of Defense has announced about 3,000 additional American troops have been deployed to Afghanistan under President Donald Trump’s new war strategy for the country.

The Pentagon had previously said about 11,000 US forces were stationed in Afghanistan. The new deployment has raised the number of American troops in the war-torn country to at least 14,000.

“We’ve just completed a force flow into Afghanistan,” Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie told reporters at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on Thursday.

“The new number for Afghanistan is now approximately 14,000. Might be a little above that, might be a little below that as we flex according to the mission,” he added.

In August, President Trump announced his controversial war strategy for Afghanistan. In a blatant U-turn from his campaign pledges to end the now 16-year occupation of Afghanistan, Trump said that his views have changed since entering the White House and that he would continue the military intervention “as long as we see determination and progress” in Afghanistan.

Trump authorised an increase of thousands of troops requested by US Army General John Nicholson, Commander of Resolute Support forces and American forces in Afghanistan.

Nicholson has said he needs about 16,000 troops in Afghanistan, and NATO countries have also pledged to help make up the difference.

On 10 November, Theapolitical quoted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saying 27 non-US members of the coalition in Afghanistan had committed to increasing their troop numbers in Afghanistan to help train and advise the Afghan security services.

The plan is to increase the size of the NATO mission in Afghanistan from 13,000 to 16,000 Stoltenberg said, with the goal of having half of those forces come from countries other than the US.

Victor Talukdar

Victor Talukdar can be contacted at 'info@theapolitical.in'
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