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Voters Split on Trump's Plan to Increase Troops in Afghanistan

31 August 2017

"Once the chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] provides the recommendations, the secretary will determine how to move forward and how many additional troops we'll need to send".

Small Marine artillery detachments, composed of about 100 or so troops per unit, will be spread around the country to fill in gaps in air support, the official said.

"This is not an attempt to bring more forces in, but it is an attempt to actually clarify a very confusing set of reporting rules that has the unintended effect of forcing commanders to make readiness trade-offs", said Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, joint staff director.

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Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White declined to provide U.S. troop numbers for Iraq and Syria.

"If the number changes significantly, we will come back in here to tell you that", McKenzie said, adding "no deployment orders have been issued" yet. Fox News first reported the 82nd Airborne's deployment last week.

It is unclear why the Pentagon has delayed authorizing the additional troops even though Trump made his announcement. "There are the options", explained Mattis about the Afghanistan plan the Pentagon is preparing for the president. In Afghanistan, for example, President Obama capped troop levels at 8,400. In that instance, the units were deploying at full strength to conduct standard combat operations.

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At the war's height in 2011, there were more than 100,000 USA troops on the ground.

"The number of troops the United States has in foreign countries, especially war zones, is unquestionably something the American people deserve to know", Glaser wrote. The vast majority of US casualties took place under Obama's tenure. During the campaign, Trump was adamant about not committing more troops to any conflict, but according to two reports, all it took was miniskirts and mineral rights to change his mind.

The force levels, which are officially at 5,262 in Iraq and 503 in Syria, are believed by USA officials to be more than a couple of thousands troops shy of the actual number of US forces in both countries. Those civilians do everything from aircraft maintenance to base security and are an integral part of the American war effort in the country.

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Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. and Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said there are 11,000 troops in Afghanistan, a figure that is 2,600 higher than previous acknowledgements.

Voters Split on Trump's Plan to Increase Troops in Afghanistan