Official: US may boost air power in Afghanistan

Official: US may boost air power in Afghanistan
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The Air Force is "absolutely" considering increasing its air power in Afghanistan, including stepping up strikes and expanding training for the Afghan air force, a top U.S. official said Tuesday.

Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein told Reuters that the U.S. is looking at increasing its air presence in Afghanistan after President Trump called for more resources in the country.

The additional resources could include increased air support for U.S. ground troops. Trump promised to step up efforts against Taliban insurgents, who remain active in the country.

On whether the Air Force will allocate more resources to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, Goldfein said "possibly," adding that the military is just beginning its process of developing new war strategies based on the goals Trump laid out in the speech Monday night.

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"It's actually too early to tell what this will mean in terms of plus-ups and reductions," Goldfein said.

Trump indicated in his prime-time address that the U.S. would retain a military presence in Afghanistan, a reversal from his years-long position calling for a withdrawal of U.S. troops there.

Trump cited the "predictable and unacceptable" consequences of a quick military exit in explaining his call for a troop surge in the country while also declining to commit to a timeline for withdrawal.

"The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win," Trump said.