US Defence Secretary James Mattis said today he was yet to make any recommendations to President Donald Trump on the number of troops in Afghanistan, but hoped an ongoing review about it would be completed soon. “On the number of troops, no, I have not made a recommendation yet,” Mattis told reporters at a joint Pentagon news conference with the General Joseph Dunford, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“What I’ve done is I’ve gone to Afghanistan. I’ve met with (the Afghan) President (Ashraf) Ghani. I have met with the NATO representatives and I’ve met with our commander in the field,” he said. “I’ve also been in Brussels and also on the side in Copenhagen; talked with my counterparts there to collect allied input. That recommendation is being put together by the chairman and myself, and I expect it’ll go to decision very, very soon. But, no, it has not been made yet,” Mattis said in response to a question.
According to local media reports, President Trump’s Cabinet is advising him to increase US troops in Afghanistan — from 8,400 to as many as 13,400.