06:31 GMT30 March 2020
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    President Donald Trump said that the United States will expand US military authority in Afghanistan but will not publicly announce any future military action plans in Afghanistan.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States will expand US military authority in Afghanistan but will not publicly announce any future military action plans in Afghanistan, President Donald Trump said during a press conference at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.

    "We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities," Trump stated on Monday night. "We will also expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorist and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan."

    Part of the new Afghan strategy includes holding Pakistan accountable for harboring terrorist networks that operate in Afghanistan and enhancing relations with India to use its economic leverage to stabilize the region Trump stated.

    US support in Afghanistan is not unlimited and will not serve as a "blank check," Trump stated. Trump added that the United States will not seek to rebuild the nation, but to kill terrorist organizations.

    The Taliban control more territory in Afghanistan than at any time since 2001, according to the US inspector general for reconstruction while the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) has been on the rise. The US military reported earlier this year that the Afghan security forces casualty rate had been increasing.

    In May, however, a CENTCOM spokesperson said Afghan and US counterterrorism efforts have eliminated some 65 percent of IS Khurasan fighters this year.

    The United States currently has 8,400 troops in Afghanistan in addition to 5,000 NATO forces.

    The United States and its allies launched a military operation in Afghanistan in 2001 following 9/11 terror attacks. 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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    Donald Trump, Afghanistan, United States
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