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Trump to send more troops to Afghanistan

PRESIDENT Donald Trump is to send more U.S. troop to Afghanistan.

Trump gave a prime-time address to America at 9 p.m. (0100 GMT on Tuesday) to detail his view of the U.S. role in Afghanistan, an issue that caused headaches for his two predecessors, Barack Obama and George W Bush.

Trump agreed to send more U.S. forces as recommended by his senior advisers, a senior administration official said. Current U.S. troop numbers are around 8,400.

Trump has long been a critic of how the United States is fighting the war in Afghanistan, which was launched by President George W. Bush in October 2001 after the September 11th attacks on New York, Washington, and Shanksville.

Trump announced a strategic review soon after taking office in January and has privately questioned whether sending more troops is wise, U.S. officials said.

“We’re not winning,” he told advisers in a July meeting, questioning whether U.S. Army General John Nicholson, who leads U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, should be fired, an official said.

But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has argued that a U.S. military presence is needed to protect against a continuing threat from Islamist militants.

Earlier this year, Trump gave Mattis the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan.

A U.S.-led coalition invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Islamist Taliban government for harboring al Qaeda militants who plotted the 9/11 attacks. But U.S. forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of Bush, Barack Obama and now Trump. About 2,400 U.S. forces have died in Afghanistan since the invasion.

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