More troops and assets are heading to Afghanistan according to Defense Secretary James Mattis who signed orders recently in line with President Trump's recent announcements to ensure victory in that conflict.Mattis has gone on record indicating that the additional troops that are being sent to Afghanistan will, in fact, help the Afghan security forces in the continuing efforts as they lead the fight against Taliban and other enemies in the region.
While neither the White House or Mattis were particularly forth coming with the exact figures, most subsequent reports indicate a figure of 11,000 Americans will be sent to the embattled country, which is much higher than the 8,400 that defense officials previously outlined. Mattis explained that the Defense Department had to change its reporting process to more accurately count the troops.Of the 11,000, many will be troops that the Pentagon had not considered in past deployment statistics, including service members on temporary duty, troops assigned to combat support agencies and counter-terrorism forces. “It’s more advisers. It’s more enablers — fire support, for example — and then some other things,” Mattis said. But don't expect an exact list until Mattis has had a chance to talk with Congress.
But don't jump to any conclusions that this new group will just be pushing pencils when they get there. According to Mattis: “Let me just be real clear: When you go into Afghanistan and you’re carrying a gun, you’re going into a combat zone.”
“The president gave me the time to look at this,” said Mattis. “He’s told me what he wants — in theory, in broad terms — and now he’s leaving it up to me. Obviously, now I’m going to respond as the president wanted me to.”“I am pleased to see that as we prepare to execute a new strategy in Afghanistan, President Trump and Secretary Mattis have chosen to put the facts on the table,” House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry said. “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.”Read more news articles here.