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US Defense Chief Signs Orders Sending More Troops To Afghanistan

02 September 2017

McKenzie noted that the 11,000 just reflects the actual number of US forces now in Afghanistan, and "does not include any potential future adjustments the Secretary of Defense may make in order to accomplish the president's new strategy for South Asia".

US Defense Secretary James Mattis has announced he's signed an order to send more troops into Afghanistan.

On August 21, Trump announced his new Afghanistan policy and said he would raise the number of United States forces in Afghanistan, citing fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups. The majority of the U.S. troops are Special Operations Forces that are tasked with training, advising and assisting local security forces battling jihadis loyal to the Taliban and Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

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The U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation involvement in a military combat mission was announced as "over" in 2014, but several thousand troops remained.

He added, though, that the deployment orders were not complete and that military leaders were still identifying "specific" additional troops to include as part of the deployment. "It's going to take a couple of days".

President Donald Trump approved a new strategy to deal with south Asia - primarily Afghanistan but also Pakistan and India - on August 21 and has provided the authority to Mattis to deploy new forces into the fight. He said "conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables", will guide the strategy, and he suggested that troop levels would be kept largely secret.

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The newly-reported figure does not include an estimated 4,000 troops which Donald Trump announced would be added to US forces in the region in an August 21 speech.

"The secretary has made clear his commitment to transparency in public reporting procedures", Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana White said during a press briefing.

About 11,000 US troops are serving in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, thousands more than it has previously stated.

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"The first thing I have to do is level the bubble and account for everybody who's on the ground there now", Mattis told reporters last week. In this regard, the Taliban have stepped up attacks. The Afghan government only controls half of the country and is beset by corruption and infighting. Mr. Mattis, along with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster are looking to add another 3,900 American troops into Afghanistan.

US Defense Chief Signs Orders Sending More Troops To Afghanistan