WASHINGTON – The United States would dispatch an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan in a bid to turn around a war that commanders have described as a stalemate.
According to a report by Associated Press, President Donald Trump has provided his defence secretary, Jim Mattis, with the authority to determine troop levels in Afghanistan currently reeling under terror owing to a recent spree of terror attacks.
The majority of the newly deployed US forces will reportedly be training and advising Afghan troops, while some others will carry out counterterrorism operations.
Citing a source, AP disclosed that the decision to send additional troops could be announced next week.
When a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis was asked for comment, he replied: “No decisions have been made.”
On the other hand, Daulat Waziri, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s defence ministry, was reluctant to comment on specifics but said the Afghan government supports the U.S. decision to send more troops.
Currently, in Afghanistan, there are an estimated 9,800 US troops, about 2,000 of whom are in a direct clash with the Taliban and IS. However, not included in official Pentagon counts are at least 2,000 more troops considered temporary, even though they can be kept in Afghanistan for months.
The latest addition of troops would be the largest increase so far during tycoon-turned-president Trump’s stint.
Former President Barack Obama ordered a “surge” of 30,000 US troops into Afghanistan in 2009, which took the total amount to 100,000 troops but Obama withdrew troops during the rest of his two terms.
There have been about 2,400 US military deaths in the war-torn country since Congress green-lighted military force in Afghanistan back in 2001, following the September 11 terrorist attacks where 2,996 Americans were killed, subsequently leading to a ‘New World Order’.