After receiving the authority from President Donald Trump, Sec. Mattis will have the ability to decide troop levels in Afghanistan and will enable him to more effectively manage the war effort there. He was given authority to control levels in Iraq and Syria in April. Throughout his administration and that of his predecessor, President Obama’s White House closely controlled U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan. President Trump came into office saying he intended to give his generals more leeway, and Mattis has said the new authority will help him improve management of the war.Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has told Congress he could use an infusion of U.S. and allied troops to bolster support for the Afghan army.Earlier this year, the Pentagon was considering a request for roughly 3,000 more troops, mainly for training and advising. That decision, however, has been stalled by the administration’s Afghan review and a push for NATO to contribute more troops.Pressed about the plan Tuesday, Mattis cited ongoing efforts to ensure NATO participation so that it’s “not all on the backs of American taxpayers.”He added: “We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we will correct this as soon as possible.”The Taliban’s resurgence has been coupled with a growing threat from Islamic State militants trying to establish a foothold in the country. The increased fight has led to a recent string of American deaths.Read more military news here.