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Report: More Than 11,000 US Troops on the Ground in Afghanistan

Image: Report: More Than 11,000 US Troops on the Ground in Afghanistan
U.S. soldiers board an Army Chinook helicopter after it brought soldiers and fresh supplies to Afghanistan's Korengal Outpost on Oct. 27, 2008. (Getty Images/John Moore)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 10:24 PM

More than 11,000 U.S. forces are now deployed in Afghanistan — thousands of more boots on the ground than had been previously acknowledged.

The Pentagon had previously reported only 8,400 forces in Afghanistan, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Jr. said at a news conference, Military Times reported.

Delivering a clearer picture of the deployed forces was a priority for Defense Secretary James Mattis, Pentagon spokesman Dana White told the outlet.

Texas GOP Rep. Mac Thornberry applauded the update.

"I am pleased to see that as we prepare to execute a new strategy in Afghanistan, President [Donald] Trump and Secretary Mattis have chosen to put the facts on the table," the House Armed Services Committee chairman said, Military Times reported.

"The Obama administration did not shoot straight on how many people they sent to Afghanistan, which added cost to the mission and made it harder to succeed. It is important to be upfront about the importance of the mission and what it takes to succeed."

The improved transparency "actually lets the American people know what their sons and daughters are doing in Afghanistan," McKenzie said, Military Times reported. "How many are there, and I think that's a reasonable thing."

"At the same time, it does protect" specific force information that could be used against forces on the ground, he said, adding: "We're saying the number's 11,000 today, and we'll go up or down slightly based on the operational requirement."

The announcement comes as the Pentagon considers whether to send 3,900 more forces to Afghanistan to implement Trump's revised strategy, the outlet reported.

Mattis has previously said he wanted to account for everyone on the ground before deciding how many more to send, McKenzie said.

The Pentagon has not provided the same updated troop count for Iraq or Syria, Military Times noted. White said Wednesday those figures would also eventually be provided.

Current numbers show there are 5,262 forces in Iraq, and 503 in Syria, Military Times reported.

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More than 11,000 U.S. forces are now deployed in Afghanistan, thousands of more boots on the ground than had been previously acknowledged.
military, troops, pentagon, defense secretary
326
2017-24-30
Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 10:24 PM
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