President Donald Trump plans to revise the US policy on afghanistan that was implemented by former president Barack Obama. It is in the keeping of things because a new administration tries to recast previous strategies and this was no exception. Donald Trump wanted to know the exact strength of American troops available in Afghanistan but, there appeared to be some confusion among the officials.

Records of Defense Department show there were 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission. Apart from them, another 2,000 American troops are available there to assist local authorities to carry out counter terrorism missions.

The Pentagon has, therefore, reassessed the position and admitted that a number of American troops positioned in that country were much more than 8400 and that a figure of 11,000 would be a more realistic estimate.

Clearing the confusion

New York Times reports that Donald Trump wanted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to augment the strength of US troops in Afghanistan by sending an additional 4,000 as a part of the new strategy on the war in Afghanistan. The revised figures of the Pentagon have now been made public.

It seems the new policy would be to send additional troops so that the American military is always on hand in the field to provide necessary advice and suggestions to the Afghans instead of acting as long-distance mentors.

The Americans can also impart training to special operations forces to improve their performance and effectiveness.

US troops in other countries

America has been involved in Afghanistan for more than 15 years, and former president Barack Obama had decided to withdraw US troops from there. He wanted to leave back a skeleton staff to act as advisors to the local Afghan authorities.

The objective was to train the locals in anti-terrorist activities so that they are more confident to take on terrorists on their own.

However, President Donald Trump is now in the chair, and he has his vision of the Afghanistan issue. He wants to formulate strategies that are expected to benefit the US in the long run. Taliban controls a significant portion of the country, and other terror groups have also entered the scene which leads to regular encounters with security forces with loss of lives on both sides.

Increase in US presence would mean a reversal of the earlier decision.

Apart from Afghanistan, US troops are positioned in other countries also, and officials of the Defense Department are tight-lipped about disclosing the number of American troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria. They have acknowledged that there are American troops in Iraq and Syria, but the actuals may be at a variance to what is reported. It is understandable because secrecy must be maintained when dealing with deployment of troops.