The United States will send its additional forces to Afghanistan as a part of the new U.S. strategy to break the stalemate in a war against the Taliban and other insurgent groups. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday signed orders to deploy more troops to Afghanistan after President Donald Trump recently unveiled a new U.S. strategy for war in Afghanistan. However, Mattis did not specify the exact number of additional forces that would be deployed in Afghanistan. “I have signed orders for fresh deployments. The fight will still be carried by the Afghan security forces .. by and large this is to enable the Afghan forces to fight effectively,” local media reports quoted Mattis as saying to reporters. He added that the deployment of additional troops would strengthen the U.S. mission to advise and assist Afghan security forces in their fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.
According to reports, nearly 4,000 new American troops will be added to Afghanistan in the future, raising the U.S. force there to about 15,000. United States President Donald Trump had recently unveiled a new U.S. strategy for war in Afghanistan and vowed to commit U.S. troops to Afghanistan to fight against the resurgent Taliban without announcing a precise number. Addressing the crowd at the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Trump proclaimed the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan, saying that the objectives will include “obliterating ISIS” and “preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan.” Trump added that to achieve these goals, he would expand authority for the US to target criminal and terrorist networks in Afghanistan.
“Afghan will secure and build their own nation and define their own future. We want them to succeed. But we will no longer use American military to construct democracies in faraway lands or try to rebuild other country in our own image,” he said. Trump further said that that America will now work with allies and partners to protect their “shared interests”. Trump also said that a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan is not feasible, pointing to the lessons the US learned from Iraq. “The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable,” Trump said, adding, “We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake we made Iraq.”
Trump’s decision comes as Taliban militants have been resurgent in recent months, posting a series of recent gains against Afghan government forces, which are backed by a US-led coalition of NATO allies. ISIS, through a regional affiliate known as ISIS-K, has also established a foothold in Afghanistan in recent years, carrying out a series of deadly terrorist attacks and coordinating assaults with the Taliban. For the first time ever, the Pentagon had earlier acknowledged that about 11,000 United States troops have been placed in Afghanistan, which is higher than the number disclosed in the recent years.