President Trump tackles one of the toughest issues in modern history, bringing stability to Afghanistan.
The Pentagon on Wednesday revised the number of U.S. troops it says are in Afghanistan, acknowledging that there are 11,000 service members there and not the 8,400 that had been reported under a cap imposed by the Obama administration.
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said the new number was not anÂ increase but an effort to be more transparent about troop numbers.
Under previous rules, the Pentagon did not have to count temporary forces to meet the cap of 8,400 troops set by the Obama administration. Those mandates oftenÂ meant the Pentagon under-reported the personnelÂ in Afghanistan.
President Trump has given the Pentagon more flexibility in deploying troops to war zones. The new accounting includesÂ temporary troops.
The U.S. military hadÂ chafed under troop caps becauseÂ it sometimes meant that only part of a unit could deploy.
For example, an aviation brigade might have to leave some of its maintenance personnel stateside and use civilian contractors, which were not subject to the same cap.
“We all recognized that whole units are inherently more prepared, more ready, than units that are fragmented in order to meet an arbitrary force management level,” said Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, an official on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Pentagon is considering deploying several thousand more troops to Afghanistan to increase support for the country’s military in its fight against the Taliban and other insurgent groups.