More US troops to Afghanistan as White House talks continue

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 03:26 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 139 times

Additional US Marines are being sent to Afghanistan as the White House continues to mull over its strategy in the country, NBC reported Monday.

 

The news report cited three defense officials saying dozens of Marines already based in the region will redeploy to southeastern part of Afghanistan and will be stationed in the violent Helmand province.

The deployment is not part of a new broader strategy by the Trump administration and was based on a request from the Marine commander in the region.

The White House has continued to review what it will do in the conflict that is nearing its 16th anniversary.

President Trump has given Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to deploy more troops. However, Mattis said that this authority does not include a delegation of strategy-making.

The president's top aides Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner both favor a plan to use private military contractors to mentor the Afghan military, according to The American Conservative.

On Monday, the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson said National Security Council has already had three sessions “exploring a full range of options for Afghanistan.”

“And when I say a full range of options, I mean the entire landscape. And I think it's reflective of the deliberations that we want to undertake,” Tillerson said.