APNewsBreak: About 4000 more US troops to go to Afghanistan

Testifying before the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, the former four-star general said Washington's war policy for Afghanistan and its impact could no longer be limited to within the country's borders.

"We can not allow Afghanistan to once again become a launching point for attacks on our homeland or on our allies", he said, alluding to the former Taliban government's granting haven to Al-Qaeda before the September 11, 2011 terror attacks in the US. Rather, it ensures the Department of Defense can facilitate our missions and align our commitment to the rapidly evolving security situation, giving our troops greater latitude to provide air power and other vital support.

For years after the initial USA -led invasion, former Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), the leading non-interventionist in Congress, continually noted that no war had been constitutionally authorized within Afghanistan - only the use of force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Mr. Mattis comments comes days after he told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that "we are not winning in Afghanistan", in one of the starkest assessments by administration officials of the 16-year war to date.

"If that means we have to keep [U.S.] advisers with them a little longer, then 9/11 taught us the cost of not paying attention to this problem".

Obama set a cap a year ago of 8,400 troops in Afghanistan after slowing the pace of what he hoped would be a US withdrawal. He said Trump administration's primary national interest and the global interest in Afghanistan is ensuring it does not become an "ungoverned space" from which attacks can again be launched against the United States, other nations or the Afghan people. The change was made public hours after Sen.

The Pentagon is reviewing the strategy for Afghanistan, which Mattis said may take several weeks.

"We are not winning Afghanistan right now", Mattis said. While Trump has handed over the troop level decision-making, there is nothing preventing him from taking it back. In congressional testimony this week, he said the strategy will take into account regional influences, such as Pakistan's role as a Taliban sanctuary.

"Reconciliation" with the Taliban remains the goal, Mattis said."We're not looking at a purely military strategy", he said.

The Times article referred to the exchange between Mattis and Trump during the committee hearing that day, noting that Mattis sought to ease McCain's concerns "by hinting that some troops might be sent as an interim step before the administration's new strategy is finalized". Three U.S. soldiers were killed and another was wounded in eastern Afghanistan this weekend in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

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