The Taliban leadership wrote an open letter to
President Donald Trump that warned him against increasing the number
of US troops in Afghanistan, home to the longest war in US history.
“Previous experiences have shown that sending more troops to
Afghanistan will not result in anything other than further
destruction of American military and economical might,” the letter
US Defence Secretary James Mattis said Monday that the Trump
administration was very close to announcing its military strategy for
In a recent report to Congress when the plan was still in its early
stages, the Defence Department said it would increase the number of
troops by several thousand, mostly to reinforce NATO’s train and
assist mission Resolute Support.
There are about 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan, down from from around
100,000 in 2010 and 2011.
Afghan forces are stretched thin, with the Taliban opening up dozens
of fronts across the country.
In recent weeks, Trump is said to have given the initial plan second
US media report that the president is now also considering more
radical options, such as a complete troop withdrawal or replacing US
military forces with security contractors. US troops have been in
Afghanistan since they invaded in 2001.
The Taliban encouraged Trump to withdraw his troops and said
privatizing the war effort would be a grave mistake.
If he couldn’t win the war with “professional US and NATO troops …
you shall never be able to win it with mercenaries, notorious
contractor firms and immoral stooges,” the message read.