Confirming long-standing speculations to that effect, the Pentagon today admitted that the 8,400 US troops that are in Afghanistan according to all official documents is not an accurate count, and that there are actually 11,000 US troops in the country.
Officials were quick to insist that the new higher figure did not represent any escalations of the sort that President Trump promised in last week’s speech, but rather was just meant to correct the 8,400 number that had long been put forward.
Pentagon officials admitted that they have routinely “lowballed” their troop levels across multiple wars, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis insisted that “this way of doing business is over,” and wants more transparency on the matter.
How that’s being addressed remains to be seen, however, as President Trump has sought to make troop levels officially secret across these war zones, and Pentagon officials had previously indicated that lying about troop levels in Iraq and Syria would be resolved by not giving out any numbers to the American public at all anymore. Today’s comments suggest more interest in giving out those figures within the Pentagon, though it’s not clear Trump has changed his mind.
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