Mattis Orders First Group of Reinforcements to Afghanistan

The new reinforcements, officials have said, will enable the United States to advise select Afghan brigades in the field, step up the effort to train Afghanistan’s special operations forces and call in American and allied air and artillery strikes.

“When you go into Afghanistan and you are carrying a gun, you are going into a combat zone,” Mr. Mattis said. “By and large, this is to enable the Afghan force to fight more effectively. It is more advisers. It is more enablers — fire support, for example.”

The military is also reorganizing some of the forces already in Afghanistan to carry out the new mission.

Pentagon officials have yet to publicly explain the new mission in detail or make the case why they think the new strategy will be effective when the deployment of 100,000 troops to Afghanistan during the Obama administration failed to break the back of the Taliban and other extremist groups, or force them to the negotiating table.

Mr. Mattis said he would begin to outline the rationale for the forces in more detail when he testifies to Congress on Wednesday.

Continue reading the main storySource: New York Times – Politics

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