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  • Afghan security forces arrive at the Kunduz airport in Afghanistan on Apr. 30, 2015.

    Afghan security forces arrive at the Kunduz airport in Afghanistan on Apr. 30, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 May 2017
Opinion

New plans are expected to include more boots on the ground.

The U.S. military is set to meet with President Donald Trump to draw up new plans for the conflict in Afghanistan which has dragged on through three U.S. administrations. Military officials are hoping to add more troops and map out a new strategy to help break the stalemate against resurgent Taliban fighters in the country.

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“I expect that these proposals will go to the president within the next week and the intent is to do just that, to move beyond the stalemate,” said Theresa Whelan, acting assistant secretary of defense for special operations on Thursday.

The new plan is expected to include asking for 3,000 to 5,000 new U.S. troops deployed to the conflict, mainly as trainers for local Afghan forces. However, the need for additional troops are needed remains up for debate.

“Right now I think we have an adequate number of my troops, special operations forces on the ground,” said General Raymond Thomas, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.

This year, the Taliban has become resurgent in the country and has launched a number of attacks against state forces.

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Last month, 140 Afghan soldiers were killed when the Taliban attacked a base in the country’s north. U.S. official appear increasingly concerned that the conflict is taking a turn for the worse, particularly with the presence of the Islamic State group in the country.

For the most part, Trump has remained tight-lipped about his plan for Afghanistan, but it did not stop him from dropping the world’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb in April to flush out insurgent fighters in the tunnel networks of the Tora Bora.

The war in Afghanistan started more than 15 years ago after the U.S. invaded the country and overthrew the Taliban government as part of George W. Bush’s global “war on terror” following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The ongoing conflict is estimated to have left over 220,000 people dead, mostly civilians.

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