United States to increase number of deployed troops to Afghanistan

by Itunuoluwa Adebo

The final proposals for a planned troop increase in Afghanistan are expected to cross President Donald Trump’s desk this week.

US officials say the likely range for the US troop increase in Afghanistan is between 3,000 and 5,000, but could be as low as 1,500. The increase would be to accelerate training missions for Afghan forces and well as to fight the Taliban. According to CNN, the Afghan Ministry of Defense supports an increase in American troops.

President Trump has already given authority to set official troop levels in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.  National security adviser H.R. McMaster and Mattis favour the troop increase being discussed at the Pentagon and increasing the United States’ financial investment in Afghanistan. It is unclear when Trump will make a formal decision.

Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesman,Gen. Dawlat Waziri told CNN, that a troop increase would benefit Afghanistan and the international community. “Fights in Afghanistan are not domestic; it is international terrorism operating in Afghanistan,” Waziri said. “The US must finish terrorism in Afghanistan by assessing, advising and training Afghan security forces and make them strong to counter terrorism.”
Strategy options being presented to the President include an outline for dealing with the Taliban, including scaling up strikes against the militant group, according to two US officials familiar with the proposal. The proposed strategy will maintain the Obama administration’s push toward reconciliation between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

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