The Trump administration has over 12,000 troops in Afghanistan, 3,500 more than was publicly acknowledged, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Pentagon admits that there are roughly 8,400 troops stationed in Afghanistan, but that number does not include the troops that regularly move in and out of the country, such as special forces and other specialized groups, which would bring the total up to about 12,000.
President Donald Trump recently announced that the U.S. will send more troops to Afghanistan, just under 4,000, though Defense Secretary James Mattis cast some doubt on that figure.
"It may or may not be the number that is bandied about," Mattis said Tuesday while in Baghdad.
Trump himself said Monday that his administration "will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities," according to The Washington Examiner.
"I've said it many times how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military options," he added.
"The intent is there will be visibility to troop levels once the decision has been made. I think what the president has conveyed and I agree wholeheartedly with him is that we're not going to signal ahead what our plans are. We're not going to signal ahead an increase, a decrease, the timing of any of that," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday, according to the Examiner.
"The only way we can defeat an enemy that is as nimble and as cagey tactically as this enemy is, we have to be as cagey and tactical as they are, and we've not been fighting that way."
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