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Pentagon Says 3,000 More U.S. Troops In Afghanistan Since August

Top U.S. Commander John Nicholson
Top U.S. Commander John Nicholson

Approximately 3,000 additional American troops have now deployed to Afghanistan under President Donald Trump's revised strategy for the war-torn country, the Pentagon said on November 16.

The Pentagon had previously put the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan at about 11,000 but Trump in August authorized an increase requested by General John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and head of NATO's Resolute Support Mission.

"We've just completed a force flow into Afghanistan," Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie told Pentagon reporters.

Nicholson has said he needs nearly 16,000 troops overall in Afghanistan, and NATO nations have pledged to help make up the difference.

"The new number for Afghanistan is now approximately 14,000. Might be a little above that, might be a little below that as we flex according to the mission," McKenzie said.

The additional troops will help train and advise Afghan security forces, who are facing a resurgent Taliban.

Aside from additional troops, Trump's new strategy also envisages an open-ended U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, where his predecessor, Barack Obama, had ordered a calendar-based drawdown of American forces.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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