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APNewsBreak: About 4000 more US troops to go to Afghanistan

16 June 2017

Some of its members seemed upset that Mattis said it is hoped members of Congress can be briefed on a new plan for USA involvement in Afghanistan by mid-July.

The Trump administration official told AP that an official announcement may come next week.

Trump's move leaves it up to Mattis, a former four-star Marine general and U.S. Central Command commander who has commanded in Iraq and Afghanistan, to set the troop levels instead of seeking White House permission as was the case under Obama. Gen. John Nicholson, the top USA commander there, has said the troops are necessary to properly train and advise the Afghan military and perform work handled at greater cost by contractors.

He also noted that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has established a branch in Afghanistan, known as ISIS-Khorasan, and that al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups remain active inside Afghanistan.

Current and former US officials say discussions revolve around adding 3,000 to 5,000 troops. McCain said the "not winning" in Afghanistan, and Mattis agreed.

With the new authority, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could authorize deployment of additional troops to Afghanistan, something commanders on the ground have been requesting for months. He said the USA mission in Afghanistan remains the same - to train, advise and assist Afghan forces - as officials finalize a new strategy to present to.

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"I think this goes to a bigger question and this is the question President Obama should have to answer: Why are we still at war in Afghanistan?"

"The Afghan security official are directly responsible for the incident to the UAE ambassador and mission members, who died or were injured, because the explosives were planted inside the guesthouse where people can enter only through security clearance", General Tamim said on his official Twitter days after the attack.

"We recognize the need for urgency", Mattis said.

What Mattis didnt say is why McCain has yet to see Trumps Afghanistan strategy: because Trump hasnt agreed to the one his top advisers prepared more than two months ago.

The additional troops will allow the US -led coalition to provide more advisers to Afghan combat units. He said Trump administration's primary national interest and the global interest in Afghanistan is ensuring it does not become an "ungoverned space" from which attacks can again be launched against the United States, other nations or the Afghan people. His predecessors both had hoped to win the war.

The Department of Defense is expected to send an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan "as early as next week", a US official told the Associated Press on June 15, just one day after President Donald Trump handed the authority to determine troop levels in the war-torn country over to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

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About 8,400 US troops remain in the country.

Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, has told Congress he could use an infusion of USA and allied troops to bolster support for the Afghan army.

In his testimony, Mattis said USA troop levels won't necessarily change immediately.

He said that thanks to the vigilance and skill of the U.S military its allies and partners, horrors on the scale of September 11, 2001, have not been repeated.

On Saturday, three USA soldiers were killed when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in eastern Afghanistan.

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APNewsBreak: About 4000 more US troops to go to Afghanistan