Mattis signs orders to send more troops to Afghanistan

Mattis signs orders to send more troops to Afghanistan
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Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief under investigation over Boeing ties | Trump uses visual aids to tout progress against ISIS | Pentagon, Amnesty International spar over civilian drone deaths Pentagon watchdog probing whether acting chief boosted Boeing Overnight Defense: Judge says Trump can't implement transgender policy | Trump floats admitting Brazil to NATO | Mattis returning to Stanford MORE said Thursday that he has signed deployment orders to send more troops to Afghanistan.

“Yes, I’ve signed orders, but it’s not complete. In other words, I’ve signed some of the [orders for] troops that will go and we are identifying the specific ones,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon, according to multiple reports.

The move follows President Trump’s new South Asia strategy, announced earlier this month, which will keep U.S. troops in the country and will likely include sending 3,900 more troops.

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Mattis did not say how many troops would be sent as part of the deployment orders, but they could deploy within days.

The additional forces would join the 11,000 troops already in Afghanistan. The Pentagon on Wednesday officially acknowledged there are thousands more troops in the country than the 8,400 previously reported.

“By and large this is to enable the Afghan forces to fight more effectively. It's more advisers, it's more enablers. Fire support, for example, and there's some other things,” Mattis said.

Mattis added that he will not speak on the details until after he briefs Congress on the developments next Wednesday.