Trump gives U.S. military authority to set Afghan troop levels
U.S. President Donald Trump has given Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday, opening the door for future troop increases requested by the U.S. commander, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that no immediate decision had been made about the troop levels themselves, which are now set at about 8,400.
The Pentagon declined to comment.
The decision is similar to one announced in April that applied to U.S. troop levels in Iraq and Syria, and came as Mattis warned Congress that the U.S.-backed Afghan forces were not beating the Taliban despite more than 15 years of war.
"We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we will correct this as soon as possible," Mattis said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier on Tuesday.
Mattis acknowledged that he believed the Taliban were "surging" at the moment, something he said he intended to address.
It has been four months since Army General John Nicholson, who leads U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, said he needed "a few thousand" additional forces, some potentially drawn from U.S. allies.
Current and former U.S. officials say discussions revolve around adding 3,000 to 5,000 troops. Those forces are expected to be largely comprised of trainers to support Afghan forces, as well as air crews.
Deliberations include giving more authority to forces on the ground and taking more aggressive action against Taliban fighters.
Related news releases
- 16.08.2017Explosion occurs at plaza Venezuela metro station in Caracas
- 16.08.2017Trump: Both sides to blame in Charlottesville violence
- 16.08.2017Colombia’s FARC to become political party with new name, same acronym
- 16.08.2017U.S. confident of 'peaceable' Venezuelan solution
- 16.08.2017US senator McCain urges Trump to promote free trade as NAFTA talks begin
- 15.08.2017U.S. sanctions hit Russian hopes of a 'Trump bump' for investment
- 15.08.2017Oil prices steady after overnight tumble on dollar strength
- 15.08.2017Venezuela's Maduro seeks to capitalize on Trump's military threat
- 15.08.2017Pence says 'failed state' in Venezuela threatens United States
- 15.08.2017Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists
- 14.08.2017Trump returns to Washington with target on China
- 14.08.2017Mike Pence: Peaceful solution to Venezuela crisis is possible
- 13.08.20172 killed in helicopter crash in U.S. state of Virginia
- 13.08.2017Emergency declared in the US as clashes erupt at hate rally
- 12.08.2017At least 1 killed, over 30 injured in Charlottesville Far-Right violence
- 12.08.2017Magnitude 5.6 quake kills 1, hurts 2 in Peru
- 12.08.2017Venezuela defense chief calls Trump threat of intervention 'crazy'
- 12.08.2017Trump: North Korea will regret any acts against US
- 12.08.2017Trump: Military option possible in Venezuela
- 12.08.2017Trump will send envoys to Middle East to discuss peace: official
- 12.08.2017US not interested in talking about back channels with North Korea
- 11.08.2017US state secretary calls for delay of Kurd region poll
- 11.08.2017Trump tweets 'military solutions for North Korea are locked and loaded'
- 11.08.2017Trump thanks Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats, infuriating State Department
- 11.08.2017US could shut Russian consulate over diplomatic ouster
- 11.08.2017Venezuela's Maduro says ready for talks with Trump
- 11.08.2017Trump declares national emergency on opioid abuse
- 11.08.2017Trump escalates warning to North Korea
- 10.08.2017U.S. destroyer challenges China's claims in South China Sea
- 10.08.2017US strongly reacts to Putin's visit to Abkhazia
- 10.08.2017Guam governor says 'no panic' on US pacific island over North Korea's threat
- 10.08.2017Cuban diplomats expelled from US over mystery illness
- 10.08.2017Oil inches higher after data points to declining U.S. inventories
- 09.08.2017Pentagon chief issues stark warning to North Korea
- 09.08.2017US sanctions 22 Mexican individuals, 43 entities tied to drug gang
- 09.08.2017Trump boasts of U.S. nuclear power in warning to North Korea
- 09.08.2017Trump campaign turns over thousands of documents in Russia probe
- 09.08.2017US regulators to probe Qualcomm’s complaints of Apple
- 09.08.2017Venezuela using excessive force, arrests to crush protests: U.N.
- 08.08.2017Trump: North Korean threats 'will be met with fire & fury'
- 14.06.2017The state Department has accused Russia of meddling in the elections of France and the Netherlands
- 14.06.2017Congressman shot at baseball field in US
- 14.06.2017US lawmakers file anti-Trump lawsuit for alleged abuse of constitution
- 13.06.2017Attorney general sessions testifies before US senate intelligence committee
- 13.06.2017No reason to fire special counsel: US Justice Dept
- 13.06.2017Tillerson signals tough Trump administration stance on Cuba