The Trump administration has reportedly chosen to send an additional 4,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, a decision made just days after President Trump authorized Defense Secretary James Mattis to autonomously decide troop levels in the country, The Associated Press reports. An official announcement is expected as early as next week, although Pentagon representatives say a decision hasn't been made yet.
"The United States knows we are in the fight against terrorism," said Afghanistan's defense ministry secretary Daulat Waziri. "We want to finish this war in Afghanistan with the help of the NATO alliance."
The Afghanistan War has now spanned three presidencies, although "Trump ran for president saying he'd end foreign entanglements," Politico points out. The U.S. and NATO allies invaded Afghanistan in late 2001 to oust the Taliban, which had sheltered the al Qaeda perpetrators of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In 2009, under former President Barack Obama, around 100,000 U.S. troops were fighting in the country. Today, some 13,000 U.S. and NATO troops remain fighting the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State, mostly by advising embattled Afghan forces.
Not everyone agrees the additional troops will help. "The security situation continues to deteriorate in Afghanistan and the foreign troops who are here are not making it better," said Afghan lawmaker Nasrullah Sadeqizada.