Pentagon to request more troops for Afghanistan

Theresa Whelan, who is now working as the Pentagon's assistant defense secretary for special operations, told senators the new plan likely will go to the White House next week.

Assistant Defense Secretary for Special Operation Theresa Whelan told senators on Thursday that the plan is meant to adjust the U.S.'s approach in the Middle Eastern country and break a stalemate, AP added. She said that the proposal will be sent to President Trump and the goal to do is to move beyond the stalement and recognize Afghanistan as important partner to US.

Right now, there are about 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan on a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban, and conducting counterterrorism missions against groups such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The Pentagon will ask the White House next week to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan to break a deadlocked fight with the Taliban, a senior official said Thursday, May 4, according to AFP.

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The Pentagon is also weighing a plan to deploy an unspecified number of Special Operations troops supposedly to escalate ground operations against al-Qaeda and Daesh (ISIL) militants. That effort is rooted in the need to continue training Iraqi forces and ensure that Islamic State militants don't regain a foothold.

The United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation now have almost 12,500 troops on the ground, with American forces contributing roughly 8,500 military personnel. The official was not authorized to discuss the letters publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Theresa Whelan is assistant defense secretary for special operations.

Thomas said a critical factor in ongoing discussions about a new Afghanistan strategy is the need for an enduring USA presence in the country.

  • Sonia Alvarado