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DATE PUBLISHED: 2017/9/2 - 15:25:12
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Defense Ministry Preparing For US Troop Surge
 Defense Ministry Preparing For US Troop Surge

The Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Saturday said it has starting preparing for the deployment of extra US troops to the country.

"Training centers exist in Kabul, Jalalabad, Helmand, Mazar-e-Sharif and Kandahar and Gardez where we have training centers and they (the additional troops) will help us in our training centers," said MoD spokesman Dawlat Waziri.

On August 21, US President Donald Trump outlined a revised vision for the US war against terrorism in Afghanistan, pledging to end a strategy of nation building and instead increase attacks on militants.

Trump also said that within the framework of the new strategy, the United States will deploy thousands of additional forces to Afghanistan to deal with the threats that emanate from the region.

The Pentagon in turn has announced that the new batch of US forces will be deployed to military and security training centers of the Afghan National and Defense Forces (ANDSF) around the country.

The US is however also expected to ramp up airstrikes against militant bases in the country and earlier this week, reports indicated that they could use both F-16s and B-52s.

Footage released on Saturday by the Pentagon shows a US B-52 bomber patrolling Afghanistan air space on August 29 (on Tuesday) and of it being refueled.

The US deployed B-52 bombers to Qatar in 2016 to join the fight against terrorism. The aircraft will still however be based there but will cover Afghanistan from Qatar.

This also comes after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday signed the deployment orders for additional American troops to Afghanistan, but said at the time that he wanted to work with Pakistan to defeat terrorists.

"I just signed the orders," Mattis said. "Itís going to take a couple of days."

"By and large this is to enable the Afghan forces to fight more effectively," Mattis said. "Itís more advisers, more enablers," such as "fire support" teams, which he declined to specify but could be artillery units. He said the additional US troops have not yet arrived in Afghanistan.

I have signed orders, but it is not complete," he said. "In other words, I have signed some of the troops that will go and we are identifying the specific ones...Iím not going to give you the details right now until Iíve talked to the Congress."

On the ground, US-Forces and NATO trainers continue to train Afghan Air Force (AAF) pilots as part of their efforts to boost the war capabilities of the AAF personnel and pilots.

AAF personnel are given weapons training from aircraft to training on how to supply and drop weapons and ammunition to ground forces on the frontline.

"With the training we have done with Afghan pilots right now, they are ready to do things ... because they can get into the areas and be safe in the process," said one foreign trainer, Gareth Roberts.

Currently up to 16,000 US and NATO forces are serving in Afghanistan within the framework of Nato Resolute Support Mission (RS). As part of Trumpís new war strategy on Afghanistan, up to 4,000 additional US troops are likely to arrive in Afghanistan.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the bulk of the roughly 4,000 additional troops headed to Afghanistan could be composed of thousands of paratroopers.

The Post stated that more air support - in the form of more F-16 fighters, A-10 ground attack aircraft and additional B-52 bomber support, or a combination of all three - is also probably on the way, according to a US official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss plans that had not yet been made public. The B-52s will remain based in Qatar but will be tasked to cover Afghanistan, he said.

 

 

LINK: http://ansarpress.com/english/8382


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