McChrystal: Trump responsible for Mattis's decision to send troops to Afghanistan

There are about 8,400 USA troops in Afghanistan now in addition to several thousand troops from allied countries.

Public affairs officers at the Department of Defense and Operation Inherent Resolve did not immediately respond to requests from Task & Purpose for comment.

The bulk of the additional troops will train and advise Afghan forces, according to the administration official, who wasn't authorized to discuss details of the decision publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump has barely spoken about Afghanistan as a candidate or president, concentrating instead on crushing the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

The Pentagon will send almost 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in an effort to turn around a war that commanders have described as a stalemate, the Associated Press reported Thursday. About 2,000 of those troops are involved in the counter-terrorism mission against al Qaeda and ISIS. "We will continue to work with our allies and we will ask more of them", he said, adding that "Working with the Afghan government and our allies and partners, we will achieve victory against the terrorists overseas, protect our borders at home, and keep America safe".

We observed in a May 31 article, "Kabul Bomb Blast Could Be Used to Justify Increase in U.S. Troops in Afghanistan", that as the Trump administration - like the previous Obama and Bush administrations - considers whether to increase the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, we might review why our troops were sent there in the first place, and whether that was a good decision. A long-term USA commitment of more troops and more money with continued internecine warfare in Afghanistan.

A resurgent Taliban coupled with Islamic State militants have challenged US forces in the region and are taking back territory formerly under control of USA and Afghan troops.




Testifying before the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, the former four-star general said Washington's war policy for Afghanistan and its impact could no longer be limited to within the country's borders.

He stressed that a new strategy for Afghanistan emphasizing a "regional approach" worked out with Pakistan and India and in concert with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would be presented for Trump's approval in mid-July.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., voiced concerns about civilian control of the military and said Trump's delegation of authority to set troop levels to the military gave him pause.

Trump's decision Tuesday to give Mattis authority to set force levels in Afghanistan mirrored similar powers he handed over earlier this year for USA fights in Iraq and Syria.

As such, Mattis is looking to end the war as soon as possible.

There have been nearly 2,400 US military deaths in Afghanistan since 2001.

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