[Ed. – This is according to ‘unnamed sources’ in the Defense Department. NBC is providing this story solely in the interests of disseminating ‘the truth.’ The network is not attempting to smear the Trump administration or lure readers in with fake news.]
The average number of U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan at any given time is thousands more than the Pentagon officially acknowledges, according to three U.S. defense officials.
The Pentagon officially acknowledges 8,400 troops on the ground there, but that number actually hovers between 11,000 and 12,000, the officials said.
The actual force manning level is 8,448, which is the maximum number of U.S. service members who are authorized to be assigned to either Resolute Support or U.S. Forces Afghanistan, the two military missions there.
But there is overlap between units as service members are transitioning in and out and there are units and people there on temporary duty shorter than 120 days. Those additional forces put the actual footprint at between 11,000 and 12,000 on any given day, according to the officials.
President Donald Trump announced a new strategy in Afghanistan Monday night, saying that the U.S. will expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorist and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan. But the president did not provide specific details about how the U.S. military mission will change or how many U.S. troops could be deployed for the new strategy.