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Trump makes decision on military strategy in Afghanistan

Trump makes decision on military strategy in Afghanistan

On Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis confirmed the president has decided on a strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

The administration had promised to have a strategy ironed out by mid-July, but the question of U.S.

On Friday, President Trump met with his national security team at the Camp David presidential retreat to discuss the war in Afghanistan, which began in October 2001.

The much-awaited policy announcement comes eight months after he became the US President.

One option debated would be to deploy about 4,000 more troops.

The meeting, which will take place at 9 p.m. ET at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va., comes as Trump weighs a new strategy for the conflict in Afghanistan that could involve sending a few thousand more US troops.

Gen. John Nicholson's exhortation of continued support for the Afghans suggested the Pentagon may have won its argument that America's military must stay engaged in the conflict in order to insure terrorists don't once again threaten the US from safe havens in Afghanistan.

Proponents argued that option was less costly in lives and money and would add less to the damage already inflicted on U.S. special operations forces by the long-running battles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Syria.

The U.S. -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission has formally ended its combat role, but about 13,500 troops remain in Afghanistan, including 7,000 soldiers from the United States and more than 1,000 from Italy. About 2,000 American troops are assigned to fight Al Qaeda and other militant groups.

It nearly 16 years since the war began. There was also a move to outsource the war to a private army run by military contractor Eric Prince, the founder of the controversial security company Blackwater. The Taliban offensive against the west-backed government in the country increased this summer. Another, which Mattis had mentioned recently in Washington, was to hire private contractors to perform some of the US military's duties. His own plan is centered on adding almost 4,000 more troops and increased air power.

On Sunday, Mattis said that Trump had come to a decision on the country's strategy for Afghanistan, but he refused to provide any details.

In this August 15, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump points to members of the media as he answers questions in the lobby of Trump Tower in NY.

McCain said if a new plan hadn't been fleshed out by September, he would offer his own - based on the "advice of some our best military leaders" - that he would tack onto a massive military spending bill.

USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson, Mr Mattis and national security adviser HR McMaster were all present at the meeting, along with senior intelligence agency officials and military and diplomatic aides.

Kelly's son, a Marine lieutenant, was killed in 2010 in a roadside bomb blast while on patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand province.



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