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Pentagon to request thousands more U.S. troops for Afghanistan

Pentagon to request thousands more U.S. troops for Afghanistan”

Senior Pentagon officials say the department expects to send a proposal to the White House next week laying out an enduring US presence in Afghanistan.

Theresa Whelan, the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations has said that the team is looking for adjustments in approach in Afghanistan.

So far, Trump has offered little clarity about whether he might approve more forces for Afghanistan, where some 8,400 United States troops remain more than 15 years after the Islamist Taliban government was toppled by US-backed Afghan forces.

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The top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson had informed about the shortage of troops in Afghanistan. That includes in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he has given Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to reset a system of U.S. troop limits.

Current and former United States officials say discussions revolve around adding 3,000 to 5,000 troops.

The options being presented, according to the Pentagon, are meant to "break the stalemate" in Afghanistan.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officially ended its combat operations against the Taliban at the end of 2014, and its current mission is to support Afghan troops in training and advice. A senior North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official says the USA has sent letters to allies asking them to increase troop commitments.

Since Trump took office on Jan 20, the Taliban have staged brazen, deadly attacks, including one last month inside a northern Afghan army base where Taliban fighters killed more than 140 soldiers.

The new Trump administration could go beyond that to permit more direct engagement between US forces and the Taliban, General Raymond Thomas, commander of the US Special Operations Command, told the same hearing Thursday.

Pakistan's army rejects PM Sharif's call to sack adviser
Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz, however, retorted to opposition saying the there was nothing "secret" about the meeting. He was also present in the wedding of Pak PM Sharif's granddaughter, which was also attended by Pm Modi in Lahore.

According to U.S. media, the Pentagon will ask for 3,000 to 5,000 more soldiers, mainly to be assigned to advise and train Afghan military and police.



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