Pentagon sending more troops to Afghanistan

President Trump announces Afghanistan strategy in Fort Myer in Arlington Virginia

"Yes, I've signed orders" for fresh deployments, Mattis told reporters, without specifying how many.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters on Thursday that he has signed orders to send additional US troops to Afghanistan, but the process is "not complete", and he won't say how many more troops will be going until he briefs Congress next week.

Mattis' comments came a day after the Pentagon disclosed that the USA troop strength in Afghanistan had reached 11,000 soldiers - thousands more than it had previously stated.

On August 21, Trump announced his new Afghanistan policy and said he would raise the number of USA forces in Afghanistan, citing fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

According to the Politico report, Secretary of Defense James Mattis is intent on fixing this problem.

More information will be given in the next few weeks as he prepares to brief lawmakers on September 6, the secretary said.

The current number of troops represent about 10 percent of the highest number of US military personnel that have officially been deployed over the war's almost 16-year history. But his efforts may conflict with the preferences of President Trump, who has repeatedly indicated a desire to keep foreign governments, and the American people, ignorant of things like troop numbers or movements, the initiation of military action, strategy, and so on.

Trump also said he would no longer provide troops counts or dates or locations of operations, arguing that such information could end up in enemy hands.

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Mattis said he and other senior administration officials are scheduled to brief members of Congress on Wednesday about the latest deployments and the new war strategy.

Meanwhile, 13 civilians from the same family were killed and another 15 wounded in a U.S. air strike on Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan authorities said yesterday.

Mattis said the goal of sending additional USA troops is "to enable the Afghan forces to fight more effectively".

White said that method supported "operational security", but reduced unit readiness and transparency, White said.

The Department of Defense was now also counting troops that are deployed for short duration - usually fewer than 180 days, he explained and noted: "This is not an attempt to bring more forces in, but it is an attempt to actually clarify a very confusing set of reporting rules".

On Iraq and Syria, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said accounting for troop numbers was still under review.

Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that commanders in Iraq and Syria were not happy with having to break up their units just to stay below the force management level.

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