US maintains 12,000 troops in Afghanistan: report
The Pentagon has more than 12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday — about 3,500 more than the agency acknowledges publicly.
The Pentagon publicly acknowledges some 8,500 troops as being deployed in Afghanistan. But according to the Journal, another 3,500 are there on temporary assignment or some other status.
The Pentagon has typically only disclosed those troops on longer deployments, but omits those who move in and out of the country on a temporary basis.
The revelation that the U.S. currently maintains more than 12,000 troops in Afghanistan comes a day after President Trump announced a new broad strategy for the country — the site of the longest war in American history.
In that announcement, the president said that the U.S. would not withdraw troops from Afghanistan, warning that doing so would create a “safe haven” in the country for terrorists.
While Trump did not say how many new troops would be sent to Afghanistan under that strategy, the Pentagon has recommended nearly 4,000.
Those troops could arrive in Afghanistan within a few weeks, according to Gen. Joseph Votel, the top U.S commander for the Middle East.
Those deployments, according to the Journal, would bring the total number of U.S. troops in the country to about 16,000.
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