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    US soldiers part of NATO patrol during the final day of a month long anti-Taliban operation by the Afghan National Army (ANA) in various parts of eastern Nangarhar province, at an Afghan National Army base in Khogyani district on August 30, 2015

    Number of US Troops in Afghanistan Higher Than Official Estimates

    © AFP 2017/ Noorullah Shirzada
    Asia & Pacific
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    The actual number of the US troops currently serving in Afghanistan is several thousand higher than the official estimates, US media reported on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The number of US servicemen in the country is about 11-12,000, which is higher than the officially stated number of 8,400 troops, NBC News reported citing three US defense officials.

    The increase is due to rotational overlap between units, the officials said. In addition, there are troops deployed to Afghanistan on temporary duty shorter than 120 days.

    The revelation comes in the wake of President Donald Trump's new strategy on Afghanistan that stipulates the increase of the number of US troops in the country.

    Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Tuesday, however, that he is still undecided about how many additional troops will be deployed. Mattis added he would want to first account for everybody who is on the ground in Afghanistan.

    The United States and its allies launched a military operation in Afghanistan in 2001 following the September 11, 2011 terror attacks on the United States.

    The mission in Afghanistan ended in 2014. On January 1, 2015, NATO announced its new mission in the country, called Resolute Support, to train and assist the Afghan security forces.

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