The Pentagon will ask the White House next week to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan, a senior official said Thursday.
After a steady downsizing of US troop numbers since 2011, US military commanders say they need to strengthen the numbers on the ground allegedly to better support Afghan forces and help retake territory lost to the Taliban.
According to US media, the Pentagon will ask for 3,000 to 5,000 more soldiers, mainly to be assigned to advise and train Afghan military and police.
US troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 today, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies.
But that is a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago.
“I expect that these proposals will go to the president within the next week,” said Theresa Whelan, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
The intent is “to move beyond the stalemate and also to recognize that Afghanistan is a very important partner for the United States in a very tricky region.”
NATO officially ended its combat operations against the Taliban at the end of 2014. The coalition says its current mission is to support Afghan troops in training and advice.