New Afghanistan troop plan goes to White House next week

Military officials say they need more troops to tackle the U.S.'s training and advisory mission.

Senior Pentagon officials say the department expects to send a proposal to the White House next week laying out an enduring USA presence in Afghanistan.

United States troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 today, and there are another 5,000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, also now in an advisory capacity. And there is a new push for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members to step up their commitments of troops and other resources to help the country in its struggle for stability.

"We are actually actively looking at adjustments to the approach in Afghanistan right now", Theresa Whelan, acting assistant secretary Of defense for special operations, low-intensity conflict. She said that the proposal will be sent to President Trump and the objective to do is to move beyond the stalement and recognize Afghanistan as important partner to US.

The Pentagon is considering sending additional troops to Afghanistan in an effort to "move beyond the stalemate", U.S. military officials told lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday.

The top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson had informed about the shortage of troops in Afghanistan.

The move comes as the in talks with Iraqi leaders over plans to keep an enduring American presence there also.

Gen. John Nicholson, commander of United States forces in Afghanistan, said in February that the coalition faced "a shortfall of a few thousand" troops to break the "stalemate" it faces there.

A senior North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official said the US has sent letters to allies asking them to increase their commitments.

But he did say, "We are under no illusions about the challenges associated with this mission", adding that "2017 is going to be another tough year for the valiant Afghan security forces and the worldwide troops who have stood and who will continue to stand should to shoulder with Afghanistan against terrorism".

Thomas said a critical factor in ongoing discussions about a new Afghanistan strategy is the need for an enduring USA presence in the country.

  • Tracy Klein