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US to send 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan: Reports

US to send 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan: Reports

Aug 20, 2017 - 17:43

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The United States (US) has decided to dispatch another 4,000 soldiers to Afghanistaninfo-icon amid increasing rebel attacks in the war-torn country, media reports said on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump finalized and signed his months-long strategy on Afghanistan in his Friday meeting with national security team held at Camp David.

Russian and Iranian news agencies reported that Trump had decided not to pull out of Afghanistan and instead pour another 4,000 US troops to the war-ravaged country to break the stalemate.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis confirmed Sunday that the Trump administration had decided on a new strategy for Afghanistan after "rigorous" debate, but said President Donald Trump would be the one to announce it.

Mattis refused to hint at any details of the decision, which came after months of speculation over whether Trump, frustrated with a stalemate after 16 years in Afghanistan, would allow the Pentagon to boost troop numbers on the ground in the country.

However Mattis appeared satisfied after what he described as an in-depth review of the policy by much of the president's cabinet and top security officials at Camp David on Friday.

"I'm very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous, and did not go in with a preset condition in terms of what questions could be asked and what decisions could be made," he said.

"Everyone who had equity was heard," he said, including budget officials responsible for funding the effort.

Trump had several options on the table, that ranged from backing away from the country to stepping up US efforts to defeat the Talibaninfo-icon.

In June he gave Mattis the power to increase troop numbers above the estimated 8,400 that have been in the country — close to 4,000 more, according to reports.

"He delegated to me, when he came in, the tactical and operational decision. He did not delegate one ounce of the strategic decision."

At Camp David on Friday, Trump met with more than a dozen aides to discuss the administration's strategy in the region, including Pakistaninfo-icon and India, but did not make public remarks after the meeting.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday that Trump had been “briefed extensively” and was “studying and considering his options.”

Trump “will make an announcement to the American people, to our allies and partners, and to the worldinfo-icon at the appropriate time,” Sanders said.



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