Pentagon wants more troops for Afghanistan

U.S. forces and Afghan commandos patrol in Asad Khil village near the site of a U.S. bombing in the Achin district of Jalalabad east of Kabul Afghanistan

Trump military advisers propose plan against Taliban in Afghanistan

The new plan calls for expanding the USA military's role to push a resurgent Taliban back to the negotiating table, according to US officials.

Trump has said he wants to "start winning" in Afghanistan again and military officials have drawn up the intended plans with the president's preferences in mind.

President Donald Trump's top military advisors have put forth a plan to boost USA troop numbers in Afghanistan by 3,000 to 5,000, the Washington Post reported late Monday. It would also lift Obama-era restrictions that limited the mobility of US military advisers on the battlefield.

The US now has about 8,400 troops in the country to train and assist the Afghan National Army and Police, along with a further 5,000 supplied by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members. The total bill for the troops and aid spending would approach $23 billion, which is expected to heavily impact Trump's decision. He's expected to make his decision sometime before attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting later this month.

CBS Radio News correspondent Cami McCormick, traveling with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford in Israel, says the Pentagon's request may seek to expand the USA mission to include advising Afghan forces below the current corps level - meaning US forces would work with much smaller units, closer to front line. But it also reflects the assumption that maintaining the current level of forces could leave the U.S. presiding over a slow deterioration in security, with fading hopes for a negotiated settlement between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

The United States will depend on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to supply most of the additional forces needed to expand the military campaign in Afghanistan, relying on alliance partners' commitments to determine how many additional American troops are sent, a senior USA defense official said Tuesday. Rather than stopping them from taking over additional territory, officials expect that Afghan forces will at best be able to "hold the line" this year and begin to recapture some key terrain from the Taliban next year.

The plan, which includes an increase in USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops, would be part of an effort to bring the Taliban back to the negotiating table with the Afghan government.

On Monday, IHS Jane's, a company specializing in defense and security analysis said of this year's assault: "Although the Taliban's spring offensive statement was shorter and more subdued than in previous years, the insurgency is likely to make further ground against the government over 2017".

The Taliban frequently launches attacks, generally targeting Afghan troops, worldwide troops and government officials.

"It is important that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation continues to provide the right level of support to the Afghan security forces as they stabilise their country".

Gen. John Nicholson and current Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at a news conference at Resolute Support Mission headquarters in Kabul.

The new strategy comes at a critical time for Afghan forces, which have taken massive casualties and continue to suffer from corruption and poor leadership.

Sgt. William Olas Bee, a US Marine from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has a close call after Taliban fighters open fire near Garmsir district, in Helmand province, in May 2008.

"I believe that it is not only a danger, it is a virtual certainty", said Barnett Rubin, who served as senior adviser to the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan under Barack Obama.

The announcement said the group would focus on "foreign forces, their military and intelligence infrastructure".

Analysts say the moves risk sucking the U.S. further into a war without end.

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