The Pentagon is expected to intensify its campaign in Afghanistan by expanding the use of drones and deploying an estimated 1,000 advisers to accompany the Afghan troops on combat missions.
Gen. Joseph Votel, the chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), recently indicated that the U.S. wants to prepare to ramp up its campaign against the Taliban, the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), and other jihadist groups in Afghanistan beyond the fighting season and into the winter months.
As soon as February, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to deploy members of an Army security-force assistance brigade to work as combat advisers to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), a move that will enhance America’s training operations, the WSJ learned from unnamed U.S. and military officials.
These moves all accelerate President Donald Trump’s decision last August to approve some 4,000 additional troops in Afghanistan, bringing the number of American personnel to about 14,000.
“The real caution, the thing that’s being discussed, is that we cannot make the mistake of taking our eye off ISIS [Islamic State] too quickly,” a military official told WSJ.