No decisions on whether to increase US forces in Afghanistan have been made yet, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters.
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford said national security leaders have not gone to President Donald J. Trump yet with Afghanistan troop recommendations for 2017 and beyond according to a press release.
“One of the key discussions we are going to have is what are the horizons for the mission in Afghanistan and how do we articulate it. I expect Secretary Mattis and I and others will brief the president soon.”
Any increase in the NATO and US mission to Afghanistan must be viewed in context, the general said. In the past year, Afghan forces have taken a lot of casualties in battling the Taliban and other groups. Army Gen. John M. Nicholson, the commander of Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan, described the situation in Afghanistan as a “stalemate” during testimony before Congress last month.
Recently the Australian Government is currently considering a request from NATO to increase its deployment to Afghanistan due to the growing threat of Islamic State.
Presently the Australian Defence Force (ADF) maintains a contingent of 270 personnel working in mentoring and advisory roles under Operation Highroad.
Australian forces have been deployed to Afghanistan since the Coalition invasion in 2001. The current Operation Highroad commenced in July 2014 and is the Australian contribution to NATO’s Resolute Support mission, which replaced the previous International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. Across the Middle East the ADF is also engaged in Operations Accordion, Manitou and Okra maintaining regional stability and combating the threat of ISIS.
Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, recently met with both James Mattis and General John Nicholson, commander of NATO forces, to discuss the situation while visiting Australian troops in the Middle East.
Addressing the media in Sydney on Friday he said “we have been asked to consider additional resources, and we are actively considering that. We’re open to that.”
It remains to be seen what Britain will do.