President Donald Trump announced on Monday that US troops will have a greater presence in Afghanistan going forward. Trump didn’t say how many soldiers he’ll send off to war, and says that’s part of his strategy: not letting the radicals know his next move in the longest war in United States history.
Trump admits that he initially felt it would be best if the US pulled out of Afghanistan completely. But the president has changed his mind, and has decided to bolster troops in the war-torn nation.
“The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory,” Trump said. “They deserve the tools they need, and the trust they have earned, to fight and to win.”
US defense officials already have a pending order of 3,900 troops that Trump had signed off on June.
How Many Troops Are In Afghanistan Right Now?
At present moment, the amount of troops in Afghanistan is roughly 8,400 soldiers, according to The Guardian. This is down from the 9,800 in the region in 2016 under President Obama. But this is nothing compared to the 100,000 US troops stationed there in 2011.
Editor’s Note: Sources vary when it comes to how many U.S. troops are in Afghanistan. Some say 8,400 while others say, while others cite the 2016 figure of 9,800:
In 2016, there was 25,197 U.S. contractors in Afghanistan, with three percent of the contractors acting as armed private security agents. That year, 72 percent of U.S. presence in that country was made up of contractors. At present, there are roughly 26 thousand contractors in the region.
Soon after President Obama took office, he sent a surge of soldiers to the region. In 2010, 140 thousand US troops were stationed in Afghanistan; the year in which the largest number of US troops participated in this nearly 16-year-war.
On June 14, 2011, Obama began the process of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. In July 2012, the U.S. pulled out 23,000 troops. By the end of 2014, roughly 10,000 troops remained in Afghanistan. In five years time, the amount of U.S. troops in country was reduced by 14 times less than the original number. However, Obama wouldn’t completely abandon U.S. presence in the region, as the military retained a residual force of 9,800 troops.
Now, Trump is upping the ante. He claims that he wants to finish this conflict quickly and with overwhelming force. Trump says that he’s not there to tell them what government they can or should have. He says he’s there to kill terrorists, as a means enforce stability in the region and combat international terrorism.
“We are not nation-building again,” says President Trump. “We are killing terrorists.”