03:22 GMT21 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States is pondering increasing the number of its military personnel in Afghanistan by 1,000 more troops this spring, Washington Post newspaper reported, citing the sources in the US military.

    According to the Washington Post newspaper, US Defense Secretary James Mattis has not yet signed the relevant decree, however, the move is aimed at enhancing the Afghan forces so that they may counter the Taliban.

    The total number of troops is reportedly expected to reach 15,000 in spring, with some of the personnel present being returned as new forces are to come. The US Army leadership backs the proposed increase of troops, the newspaper added.

    In August, US President Donald Trump announced a new Afghanistan strategy, in which he pledged to continue US support for the Afghan government and military. Trump also said the authority of US troops to target terrorists in Afghanistan would be expanded and he approved sending an additional 4,000 troops to the country.

    READ MORE: Afghanistan Unable to Field Army for 6 Months Without US Assistance — President

    The United States has been in Afghanistan since October 2001. During this campaign, 2,35 thousand of US servicemen were killed, and more than 20,000 were injured. As of September 30, 2017, there were 15,282 US soldiers in the country, as well as 1,202 civilian employees of the Defense Ministry.


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