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New Pentagon Chief Might Revise Number of Troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Reports Suggest

© AP Photo / Sgt. Justin UpdegraffThis June 10, 2017 photo provided by Operation Resolute Support, U.S. Soldiers with Task Force Iron maneuver an M-777 howitzer, so it can be towed into position at Bost Airfield, Afghanistan
This June 10, 2017 photo provided by Operation Resolute Support, U.S. Soldiers with Task Force Iron maneuver an M-777 howitzer, so it can be towed into position at Bost Airfield, Afghanistan - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin might revise former President Donald Trump's decision to scale down troops in Afghanistan and Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, citing Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the revision might go both upward and downward, depending on Austin's assessment of the United States' conflict strategy in the two countries.

“It stands to reason that the incoming administration will want to better understand the status of operations in both places and the resources being applied to those missions. Nothing has changed about our desire to defend the American people from the threat of terrorism, while also making sure we are appropriately resourcing our strategy,” Kirby was quoted as saying.

The spokesman was further cited as saying that any decision on troop levels will be made in consultation with the governments of Afghanistan ad Iraq.

In this photograph taken on August 28, 2017, a US Marine looks on as Afghan National Army soldiers raise the Afghan National flag on an armed vehicle during a training exercise to deal with IEDs (improvised explosive devices) at the Shorab Military Camp in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. - Marines in Afghanistan's Helmand say Donald Trump's decision to keep boots on the ground indefinitely gives them all the time in the world to retake the province, once the symbol of US intervention but now a Taliban stronghold. They may need it. At the hot, dusty Camp Shorab, where many of the recently deployed Marines train their Afghan counterparts in flat, desert terrain, the Afghans admit th - Sputnik International
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The remaining US contingent may be too small to wage counterterrorism and train local forces while simultaneously ensuring enough security for American soldiers, the newspaper said, citing military officials.

On the other hand, sending more troops was described in the report as "politically perilous."

On 15 January, the US Department of Defence said that contingents in Afghanistan and Iraq were reduced to 2,500 troops each, as per Trump's order.

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