More American troops will be headed to Afghanistan in the new year, the top US general in Kabul told reporters. Increased numbers of US advisers will be backed by combat troops as well.
There are over 1,000 advisers out with Afghan forces at any given time, General John W. Nicholson Jr. told reporters Sunday. “Next year, however, this will increase dramatically.”
The new plan for turning the corner in a war the US has fought since 2001 involves deploying more advisers in battle alongside Afghan security forces, Nicholson said. The brigade-size teams “will be backed up by US combat enablers, not only for the protection of our own force, but for support of Afghans as well,” he said.
Two brigade combat teams from the 4th Infantry Division will head out to Afghanistan from Fort Carson, Colorado in the spring, the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported. The 6,000 or so troops will spend nine months in Afghanistan, and will be relieving a combat team from the 25th Infantry and another from the 82nd Airborne.
There are about 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan at the moment, including the 3,000 sent in September, following President Donald Trump’s announcement in August that he would escalate the war rather than wind it down.