US Military Will Pitch Revised Afghan War Plan To Trump
- Author: Megan Austin May 06, 2017,
May 06, 2017, 2:16
A plan for more troops would be part of a broader set of recommendations on how to adjust the USA military approach in Afghanistan that the Pentagon plans to send to President Donald Trump "within the next week".
"We are actively looking at adjustments to the approach in Afghanistan right now, I expect that these proposals will go to the president within the next week", Theresa Whelan, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Defense Department will deliver an updated Afghanistan strategy proposal to the White House within the next week detailing the military's tactics in the region, senior leaders of the force told Congress on Thursday.
So far, Trump has offered little clarity about whether he might approve more forces for Afghanistan, where some 8,400 U.S. troops remain more than 15 years after the Islamist Taliban government was toppled by US-backed Afghan forces.
It has been three months since Army General John Nicholson, who leads United States and global forces in Afghanistan, said he needed "a few thousand" additional forces, some potentially drawn from U.S. allies.
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The United States - under Republican George W. Bush's presidency - and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington's so-called war on terror.
A senior North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official said the USA has sent letters to allies asking them to increase their commitments.
Speaking alongside Whelan, U.S. Special Operations Command head Gen. Raymond Thomas told lawmakers he did not think more U.S. special operations forces should be sent to Afghanistan and he "an adequate number" of forces on the ground for the counterterrorism mission in the country. The official was not authorized to discuss the letters publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Thomas said a critical factor in ongoing discussions about a new Afghanistan strategy is the need for an enduring US presence in the country.