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US to send 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan: report

US to send 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan: report
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The U.S. military will send about 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing U.S. officials.

The decision follows President Trump’s new South Asia strategy, announced in August, which keeps U.S. troops in the country and sends additional forces.

Those extra troops would bolster the Afghan military in its fight against the Taliban, al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and bring the total number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to about 14,500. 

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Pentagon officials said the Defense Department will not comment on a troop increase until an official announcement from Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisDeVos pushes for school vouchers for military families despite opposition: report The Hill's Morning Report: Haley clashes with White House Mattis wanted approval from Congress before Syria strikes but was overruled: report MORE.

The news comes as Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford and State Secretary Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonMenendez rips characterization of Pompeo as 'nation's top diplomat' Feinstein comes out against Pompeo for secretary of State Dem lawmaker rips Trump's taxpayer spending on Tax Day MORE on Wednesday briefed lawmakers about Trump’s South Asia strategy and North Korea. 

House lawmakers said after the meeting that the officials would not say how many more troops are being sent to Afghanistan.

Mattis last week signed orders to send additional troops to Afghanistan but did not specify the size of the force. He added that he will not discuss the details until after he briefs Congress.

Trump was widely expected to send roughly 4,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, a recommendation made by the Pentagon months ago.

If confirmed, the additional forces would join the 11,000 troops already in the country. The Pentagon last month officially acknowledged there are thousands more troops in the country than the 8,400 previously reported.