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Trump advisers call for more troops in Afghanistan

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  10 May 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Washington, May 9: Senior Trump administration and military officials have recommended sending several thousand additiol American troops to Afghanistan that would put the US back on a war footing with the Taliban. The new plan, which still needs President Dold Trump’s approval, calls for expanding the US military role as part of a broader effort to compel Taliban in moving to the negotiating table, US officials said on Monday.

The recommendation is the product of a broad review by the Pentagon, the State Department, intelligence community and other government agencies on America’s longest war. It would also lift Obama-era restrictions that limited the mobility of US military advisers on the battlefield, the Washington Post reported. It is broadly consistent with advice General John W. Nicholson, the top American commander in Afghanistan, gave Congress in February.

Warning that the US and its TO allies faced a “stalemate”, General Nicholson told lawmakers that he had a shortfall of a “few thousand” troops and said more personnel would eble the American military to advise the Afghan military more effectively. The intertiol force assisting the Afghans has about 13,000 troops, of whom about 8,400 are American.

American officials said that 3,000 to 5,000 additiol troops, including hundreds of Special Operations forces, could be sent. Trump is expected to make a decision on his Afghan strategy before a May 25 TO meeting in Brussels, the Post reported. The new strategy is a product of the US military’s mounting worries that the fragile stalemate with the Taliban has been steadily eroding for years, jeopardising the survival of an allied government and endangering a key US base for combating al Qaeda and the Islamic State throughout South Asia. Even as it moves to the President’s desk, the proposal faces resistance from some senior administration officials who fear a repeat of earlier decisions to intensify military efforts that produced only temporary improvements.

The Pentagon would have fil say on troop levels and their deployment on the battlefield. The plan would also increase spending on Afghanistan’s troubled government in an effort to improve its capacity.

US officials said that increase in US troop levels and support to the Afghan government and military would be heavily conditioned on the ability of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to weed out ineffective military commanders and reduce corruption. (IANS)

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