The U.S. Army is considering a plan where they will send an additional 1000 troops to Afghanistan where they would join the already 14,000 military forces there as the US-led coalition works to break the stalemate with the Taliban.
The Washington Post was reporting this first and quoted senior military officials that the proposal has yet to get official approval but would raise the troop level again. The additional forces could be part of the new Security Assistance Brigade which has been training at the Joint Readiness Training Center in preparation for deployment.
Defense Secretary James Mattis has not signed off on the plans to bring the total force to about 15,000 troops, which many of the Army’s senior leadership support, according to the report.
The proposals show a stark contrast between the Obama administration’s efforts to slowly pull out of Afghanistan in 2015 and President Trump‘s aggressive strategy to pursue radical groups in the conflict-torn region.
The number of troops in Afghanistan has risen from 8,500 to 14,000 since Trump took office. He has largely given the Pentagon the reins to deal with the issue, while emphasizing that he wants to see results.
“This is a concept that got accelerated for Afghanistan, and it has been quite a process,” a senior military official said, describing the process as a “roller coaster.”
A spokesman for the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson Jr., told the Post that they had not specifically asked for more troops, but indicated that new forces would likely lead to an adjustment under their current strategy instead of a new plan.
The additional troops could be an aviation or artillery package that would deploy and support the additional troops but the details on the proposal have not been made clear.
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