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US Has 11,000 Troops In Afghanistan, Says Pentagon As Trump Considers Adding More Troops

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| August 31 , 2017 , 09:45 IST

Two weeks after US President Donald Trump and his top cabinet and military officials called for increasing the strength of US soldiers and airmen in Afghanistan, the Pentagon has estimated that currently there are 11,000 US troops present in Afghanistan.

Pentagon Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie said that a comprehensive review showed there were around 11,000 uniformed US servicemen and women in Afghanistan, compared to the 8,400 number that had been deployed since last year.

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The fresh estimate of US troops in Afghanistan, which included the temporary and covert units as well as regular forces, was made so as to establish a basis for a further increase in troops under the revised strategy put forth by Trump to better support the Afghan troops fighting against the Taliban.

Although the number of additional troops has not been officially confirmed, reports suggest the count may be around 4,000.

According to McKenzie, after former president Barack Obama set a ceiling of 8,400 troops for the Afghanistan intervention last July, military commanders had been hampered in their ability to deploy full units, leading to "unintended consequences".

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For months, US generals have been calling the situation in Afghanistan a 'stalemate' despite years of support for the Afghan partners which has cost the United States around $1 trillion overall.

By increasing the amount of US troops, the US-led coalition will be able to provide more advisors and tactical support to strengthen the efforts against the Taliban.

McKenzie added that the new count was an effort to be more transparent, however the Defence Department would not be revealing too much information on the US forces so as to maintain operational security and to avoid 'telegraphing' US intentions to the opposing forces.