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. 


Pentagon officials said the Defense Department will not comment on a troop increase until an official announcement from Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica | Senators grill DHS chief on election security | Omnibus to include election cyber funds | Bill would create 'bug bounty' for State GOP rep introduces bill to address national security risks of artificial intelligence Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps MORE.

The news comes as Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford and State Secretary Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonMueller witness and GOP fund-raiser sought to push UAE, Saudi agendas in White House: report Kimmel: Trump goes through Cabinet members like cheeseburgers, hair spray Trump formally sends Pompeo nomination to Senate 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.