Washington, June 17: Looking at the threats in Afghanistan, the United States have taken a major decision to send 4,000 additional troops to Kabul in a hope to break a stalemate in the 16-year war with Taliban.
The bulk of the extra forces will train and advise Afghan troops, while a smaller number would be assigned to counter-terror operations against the Taliban and Islamic State group. The decision is made after U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers on June 15 that President Donald Trump has given him the authority to establish troop levels in Afghanistan.
Notably, there have been almost 2,400 US military deaths in Afghanistan since 2001. Three US soldiers were killed and another was wounded in eastern Afghanistan this weekend in an attack claimed by the Taliban.
Interestingly, there are about 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan now in addition to several thousand troops from allied countries. NATO forces are also expected to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. The Pentagon has said that any troop increase would not change the mission of the forces there. Afghan security forces are leading the fight and U.S. and NATO troops are serving as advisers and providing air and other critical support.
The U.S. had as many as 100,000 troops in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011, but in 2013 turned over the primary responsibility for the war to Afghan forces. In recent years, security in the country declined as the U.S. continued to decrease forces.