Pentagon: 2600 more troops in Afghanistan than previously reported

Casey Dawson
August 31, 2017

The 8,400 troops cap for Afghanistan was imposed during the Obama administration. To contribute to the troop increase, the 4th Brigade is likely to deploy more of its troops rather than send just enough to replace those in the 1st Armored Division.

Small Marine artillery detachments, composed of about 100 or so troops per unit, will be spread around the country to fill in gaps in air support, the official said.

The Pentagon revealed Wednesday that there are approximately 2,600 more United States troops in Afghanistan than had been officially disclosed due to a change in its accounting procedures.

"We've obviously been discussing this option for some time", the Pentagon chief said during a visit to Iraq this month.

"So what it does is, it actually lets the American people know what their sons and daughters are doing in Afghanistan", McKenzie said.

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Referring to the implementation of Trump's strategy, American Col. Robert Manning, a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) spokesman, told reporters on Monday, "We're just not there yet. There are the options", explained Mattis about the Afghanistan plan the Pentagon is preparing for the president.

The Washington Post reported that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster showed Trump photos of girls walking around in miniskirts in pre-Taliban Kabul. In Afghanistan, for example, President Obama capped troop levels at 8,400.

Reports of US troop presences in Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries, as well as drone strike casualty figures differ from 2016 reports and earlier because the Pentagon is changing its reporting methods and accuracy.

The force levels, which are officially at 5,262 in Iraq and 503 in Syria, are believed by USA officials to be more than a couple of thousands troops shy of the actual number of US forces in both countries. The current number of troops represent about 10 percent of the highest number of US military personnel that have officially been deployed over the war's almost 16-year history. With more troops, those numbers are sure to increase as well.

While announcing his plans for Afghanistan, Trump offered no details on how many additional American troops the USA will deploy to the country or how they would support the struggling Afghan security forces, saying, "America's enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out". With more units farther away from the country's biggest bases, additional air support and artillery will be needed to cover those forces.

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