No US General had taken a strategy decision to pull all US troops out of Afghanistan, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Joseph Dunford, has said
No US General had taken a strategy decision to pull all US troops out of Afghanistan, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Joseph Dunford, has said.
Dunford was speaking to reporters before a trip to Germany that he will use to explain President Donald Trump’s decision on troop levels.
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Dunford said that since Trump was elected in 2016, top US commanders had provided regular briefings to the White House about the need for more forces in Afghanistan to fight terrorists.
“At no time did anyone make any recommendation for a troop drawdown,” Dunford said.
He said more troops were needed because of recent operational successes by US and Afghan forces, citing the successful retaking of a northern Afghan province from Islamic State.
President Trump promised in a recent interview that more American troops were needed to take the fight to Isis.
The Trump administration has been struggling to formulate a new strategy for Afghanistan after Trump decided in April to send 3,500 additional troops to Afghanistan, after Trump pulled US forces out of Iraq in 2011.
Dunford also said he believed the US strategy in Afghanistan was working and he could not see a change in the foreseeable future.
“I have not been asked to support a change in strategy in the near future,” Dunford said.
The Trump administration said in June that it was exploring sending more US troops to Afghanistan to accelerate the fight against Isis, but that decision has yet to be made.