Latest on Afghanistan options expected to hit Trump's desk this week

Kristopher Drake
May 10, 2017

The US now has about 8,400 troops in the country to train and assist the Afghan National Army and Police, along with a further 5,000 supplied by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

Other proposals being presented to the White House call for the Pentagon to set the USA troops levels and expand the authorities for conducting airstrikes against the Taliban, according to another US official.

Ahead of the expected release of the Af-Pak plan, the White House on Monday said Trump wants to have a winning strategy in the war-torn country.

Senior military advisers have begun urging Trump to increase the USA presence in Afghanistan, in opposition to former President Barack Obama's plans to eventually withdraw troops from the troubled country.

In Afghanistan, there are 13,000 global troops - 8,400 from the United States - assisting the Afghan security forces, mainly in training and advising roles, but USA troops also carry out counter-terrorism operations.

The US President is receiving a plan and guidance from his national security team as he had asked form, he said adding that that guidance is coming forward. Gen. Dan McNeill said in 2007 we were making "significant progress".

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to meet Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street on Wednesday and is expected to discuss the subject, according to the BBC.

They believe some 3,000-5,000 additional troops - with a matching commitment from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations - are needed to wrest the initiative from insurgents.

There is probably one thing that is pretty clear that he will ll do. The Post said the plan would give the Pentagon broader authority to decide how many troops are stationed in Afghanistan and when to use airstrikes on Taliban fighters.


"There's got to be a serious engagement with negotiating with the Taliban", he told Al Jazeera from London.

The US has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, with about another 5,000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

U.S. President Donald Trump may soon send as many as 5,000 troops into Afghanistan in an effort to re-establish American power in the region.

"The US at one point had 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and they were not able to defeat the Taliban - so what can they do with 10 times fewer troops?"

Fifty of the remaining soldiers were sent to battle terrorism and train Afghan leaders. Last month, 140 Afghan soldiers were massacred in the northern part of the country. However, there have been restrictions on how close Americans could accompany Afghan forces in combat and on bombing Taliban targets.

ANALYSIS: After deadly ISIS attack, will Trump send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan?

Now there are about 500 British troops in the country, providing security in Kabul and training at the Afghan Officer Academy. The last United Kingdom combat troops left in October 2014. Currently, advisers are working with Afghans mostly at the command level of the army corps.

Whereas Trump called for significant changes to how the US fights IS in Iraq and Syria, he has said far less about the much longer USA war in Afghanistan.

The NATO meeting this month will be crucial to the next steps by the Trump administration.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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