President to get Pentagon's new Afghan war plan

President to get Pentagon's new Afghan war plan

Assistant Defense Secretary for Special Operation Theresa Whelan told senators on Thursday that the plan is meant to adjust the U.S.'s approach in the Middle Eastern country and break a stalemate, AP added.

The latest in a series of Pentagon proposals on changing United States policy in its assorted wars, a series of options are expected to be delivered to President Trump next week on Afghanistan.

Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, has asked the Pentagon for 3,000 more USA and allied troops to bolster support for the Afghan army.

Senior U.S. military leaders, including the top commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, have been saying they need more trainers and advisers to break what they called a "stalemate" in the fight against the Taliban, Islamic State (IS), and Al-Qaeda militants. The three most recent USA deaths in Afghanistan were in combat last month against the IS affiliate, which also was the target of a much-publicized US airstrike April 13 using the "mother of all bombs".

Current and former US officials have said the Pentagon is looking to add up to 5,000 troops to the 8,400 now in Afghanistan.

Pentagon: IS in Afghanistan leader killed in April raid
A US-Afghan army statement issued following the operation said troops had been involved in an "intense" three-hour firefight. Abdul Hasib, the head of the Islamic state who was killed on April 27 was declared dead by Afghan officials on Sunday.

Last year, with the Kabul government struggling to hold ground against the Taliban, former president Barack Obama authorized United States air strikes against the Taliban in limited cases, to ensure Afghan forces on the ground would have a "strategic advantage".

The US-led occupying force officially announced to end its combat operations against the Taliban in the country at the end of 2014, and its current mission is to "train, advise, and assist" Afghan troops.

Testifying on Capitol Hill with Whelan, Gen. Raymond Thomas, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, said the new strategy could include more U.S. troops and changes in what the military calls "rules of engagement", laying out when force can be used.

US military officials have said they need more forces to meet the growing training and advising mission. Current and former USA officials said discussions revolve around adding three to five thousand troops.

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

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