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Pentagon Now In Charge of Troop Levels In Afghanistan

by Countable | 6.14.17

President Donald Trump has handed authority to increase troop levels in Afghanistan to the Pentagon, according to the Washington Post. The move mirrors one made in April, authorizing the Pentagon to increase troop levels in Syria and Iraq.

Commanders on the ground in Afghanistan have been requesting reinforcement for months, asking for "a few thousand more" troops. The Post reports current U.S. troop levels at approximately 8,400, with 5,000 additional NATO forces. The U.S. forces are split between two fronts, supporting Afghan troops in counterterrorism efforts and basic military operations.

The conflict has worn on for 15 years now. In a recent hearing in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis testified that "we are not winning" in Afghanistan. When questioned about a long-term strategy, Mattis promised to present it to the Committee by mid-July. He insisted that it would look different than the last eight years, with a goal of long-term U.S. presence to support Afghan forces managing and containing local conflicts.

More than 2,000 U.S. troops have died in the conflict since 2001. In 2016 alone more than 3,000 Afghan civilians were killed. In the first eight months of 2016 Afghan troops lost more than 5,000, with 15,000 casualties in total, reports the Post.

Should Congress support the Pentagon’s strategy of increasing troops and a long term presence in Afghanistan? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

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(35)
  • Linda
    06/15/2017
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    So the military is now running our country and making decisions about who, what, when, where we send our boys to war??? Jesus Christ, do your job, congress! Do you even know HOW to do your job? Fire Trump for dereliction of duty! Take the reins! Seriously, the pentagon is in charge?!? YOU are the ones we will hold accountable!!!

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  • Clay
    06/14/2017
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    We must be out of our collective mind. Soon we can call it the Fifty year war. Never go in without a exit strategy. How and when do we leave? No answers to that question, no new troops. Save American lives.

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  • Jim
    06/15/2017
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    Trump said he knew more than the Generals. What a joke. Now he punts responsibility to them. Trump leading from behind.

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  • VSB
    06/15/2017
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    You cannot win a war against an ideology with increased U.S. Troops. The U.S. is spreading itself thin trying to fight against terrorism in other countries and for years now we haven't won. Why would increased defense spending help? Repeating the same failed behavior again and again does not render success. Abdicating these decisions to the pentagon does not improve the results of an unwindable war abroad. It is, however, impacting the economy of America as this administration considers sacrificing health care for the elderly, poor and disabled and sacrificing the environment and other valuable services to Americans to pay for increased defense spending. Please congress carefully consider and vocalize this!

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  • Simon
    06/15/2017
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    When will we end this senseless war that does nothing except terrorize people in their own country, radicalize insurgents, bankrupt our country, and line the pockets of select US contractors. Hast it been like 16 years....c'mon. Bring some of that $$$ back home and build us better school, bridges, roads, and invest in the education and success of the American people instead of the destruction of a country where we shouldn't be in the first place.

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  • Jennifer
    06/15/2017
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    We are imperialists. I want the country to spend less money in the war economy and spend more money on elevating the quality of the lives of the Americans at home. We need education and innovation.

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  • Yo
    06/14/2017
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    It is my wish for this war was won and over, unfortunately it isn't and it will take long time to get an outcome that USA is comfortable.leave it in limbo it's not an option, do it right!!

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  • Robert
    06/15/2017
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    Never start a land war in Asia.

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  • carolkravetz
    06/15/2017
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    Mattis should check the history books. No country EVER wins in Afghanistan.

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  • B.R.
    06/15/2017
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    To begin with, let's remember that President Trump nor Defense Secretary Mattis created this situation. However, they now have to deal with it. I have faith that if anyone, if even possible, Secretary Mattis will come up with a better solution. I am looking forward to his proposal in July.

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  • Sue
    06/14/2017
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    WMD

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  • Eileen
    06/15/2017
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    Read "Drift" ! War is not a business we should be supporting in eternity!

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  • Eileen
    06/15/2017
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    We need to be out of this war! 15 years? Seriously?! Read "Drift" for the business of war! Not a good cause! We ALL need to be invested and paying for the wars, not just the few who send their children!

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  • Ron
    06/15/2017
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    This needs to end. If it takes more troops so be it.

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  • Dawn
    06/16/2017
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    It seems as though President Trump has realized he doesn't know more than the generals. Although, this may be a ploy to avoid responsibility. I would have liked to hear the plan before authorizing this.

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  • Anita
    06/16/2017
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    A war that kills people to benefit rich. Pentagon is a war machine.

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  • James
    06/16/2017
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    Resource control is a vital aspect for a nation. I just wish we would admit that's the real reason and end this farce tale of spreading democracy. We've been playing that tune since the Cold War and we haven't done a good job of it. Let's just admit that if we are in a country with our military it's either because they have a resource we want, or we need a new proxy puppet nation for the empire seeing as conquest and annexation is a no no these days

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  • Matgoolsby
    06/16/2017
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    Now, I've never served, and I'm going to assume most people on this app have never served. So, I would rather listen to someone who has been apart of this war for a good amount of time than a politician or a non-veteran.

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  • Donna
    06/16/2017
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    No more troops in Afghanistan. This is our Vietnam. We can't win this nor can we change this culture. Enough already. Our troops are dying or maimed for nothing. We need to get the hell out, 100%

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  • ReaderOfThePack
    06/16/2017
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    There is no "win" for this war. There is no congressional authorization for this war. There is no justification for the president to pass off responsibility to the military for decisions about the mission's parameters and troop levels. Didn't Pres. Obama just get most of our people out of Afghanistan?!? The U.S. has interfered too much already without a plan.

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