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The U.S. military has begun shifting troops and equipment from Iraq, where ISIS is trying to establish an insurgency, to Afghanistan, where the Taliban and other groups are waging a more conventional fight, officials told Task & Purpose on Monday.
Since President Donald Trump first announced his new strategy for the war in Afghanistan in August with a vow to focus on “killing terrorists” rather than “nation building,” it has remained unclear exactly how many U.S. forces will be involved in that effort. Now a clearer picture is beginning to emerge: the Associated Press reports that the number of U.S. military personnel could reach nearly 16,000 in 2018, more than what the Department of Defense had previously projected and almost double what the official number was at the beginning of this year.
The Department of Defense vastly overstated the number of active-duty military personnel deployed to Texas and Louisiana in response to the catastrophic rain and flooding of Hurricane Harvey, the Pentagon told CNN in a statement on Sept. 1, with just a quarter of initial estimates actually sent to the Gulf Coast as part of relief efforts.
Unveiling his long-awaited plan for the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan on Aug. 21, President Donald Trump made an unusual statement: The 16-year-old forever war will go on without specific troop levels and an official end in sight — and the White House doesn’t have to tell you shit about it.
President Donald Trump made headlines last month when he promised Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his generals would be given “full control” to deploy additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan as they saw fit. But today, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Trump’s promise wasn’t as advertised: The White House privately told defense planners they’d better not deploy more than 3,900 new service members.