President Donald Trump is sending his national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to Afghanistan, according to Military Times.
Trump announced the move during a press conference with NATO Secretary Gen. Jans Stoltenberg. McMaster's trip will focus on assessing whether more U.S. forces are needed to turn around the war in Afghanistan, which has been ongoing since late 2001.
In February, Army Gen. John Nicholson told Congress he needed a “few thousand” more troops in order to break what he called a “stalemate” with the Taliban.
There are about 8,400 U.S. troops there, along with 5,000 from NATO allies.
The situation in Afghanistan is far from a stalemate, however. The latest assessment from the Institute for the Study of War released in February shows the situation has been deteriorating, especially since troop levels were lowered significantly after 2011.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States said Tuesday his country could handle itself without NATO support “for the most part” by 2020.
In 2009, President Obama ordered a troop “surge” of 30,000 additional soldiers to Afghanistan, though some criticized him for announcing his intention to pull them out within 18 months.
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