Following on the heels of President Trump’s new South Asia strategy, the U.S. military will send approximately 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan, as reported by Reuters on Wednesday, citing U.S. officials.
Trump’s strategy, as announced in August, will keep U.S. troops in the country and will send additional troop support. The extra forces are being sent to fortify the Afghan military in its fight against the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
This fortification will bring the total number of troops fighting in Afghanistan to around 14,500.
In a Wednesday briefing, lawmakers were apprised of Trump’s South Asia strategy, involving North Korea, by Defense Sec. James Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
According to House lawmakers, the officials would not say how many more troops are being sent to Afghanistan.
Having stated he will not discuss the details until he briefs Congress, Mattis last week signed orders to send additional troops to Afghanistan but did not specify the size of the force.
It has been reported that, due to recommendations made by the Pentagon months ago, President Trump is expected to send roughly 4,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. If confirmed, the additional forces would join the 11,000 troops already in the country.
Pentagon officials said the Defense Department will not comment on a troop increase until an official announcement from Defense Secretary James Mattis is made.
The United States has had a fighting force in Afghanistan since 2001.
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