US to send almost 4000 troops to Afghanistan

Jerome Frank
June 16, 2017

In a statement released after the new authorities granted to Pentagon by President Trump regarding the Afghanistan war, Mattis said "This will enable our military to have greater agility to conduct operations, recognizing our military posture there is part of a broader regional context".

Earlier this week, President Trump provided his defense secretary, Jim Mattis, with the authority to determine troop levels in Afghanistan. Trump has inherited America's longest conflict with no clear endpoint or a defined strategy for American success, though US troop levels are far lower than they were under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Mr. Mattis comments comes days after he told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that "we are not winning in Afghanistan", in one of the starkest assessments by administration officials of the 16-year war to date. He said he expects to outline a strategy for Congress within a month. For example, ISIS has established a branch in Khorasan Province, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups remain active inside Afghanistan, and the Taliban continue to pose a challenge to the democratically elected government.

Most of the new troops heading to Afghanistan will play the role of training and advising Afghan troops. Have a say in our informal poll, and feel free to join the conversation.

The additional troops will allow the USA -led coalition to provide more advisers to Afghan combat units.

Mattis signaled his intention to brief lawmakers on a new strategy by mid-July.

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The strategy will be "one that takes into account Afghanistan as part of South Asia", Mattis said, adding that "9/11 taught us the cost of not paying attention to this problem". Two months earlier, Trump gave Mattis similar authority over US forces in Iraq and Syria. The current number stands at approximately 8,400.

As such, Mattis is looking to end the war as soon as possible.

At a congressional hearing on Thursday, Mattis stressed that President Trump had not "fully delegated all authority to me, he maintains strategic oversight" for Afghanistan.

An Afterthought: Let's suppose for a moment that Trump actually wanted to end the Afghan war.

"I think there's going to have to be an adequate ground force, but I don't think it should be primarily American", McChrystal said.

Thanks to the vigilance and skill of the USA military and our many allies and partners, horrors on the scale of September 11, 2001, have not been repeated on our shores.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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