One week after the Pentagon announced an escalation of the Afghan War of an unspecified size, anonymous US officials are saying that the deployment will be about 3,500, bringing the total size of the US forces in the country to 14,500.
The Pentagon would officially neither confirm nor deny the figure, saying that they will not comment in any way on the numbers until there is an official announcement. This figure is roughly in line with expectations of the size of the deployment.
This is, however, expected to only be the first deployment in a much broader open escalation announced by President Trump last month. It’s not clear that subsequent deployments will be announced at all, with or without numbers.
President Trump has been keen to keep the deployment sizes secret, saying the “enemy must never know,” while Pentagon officials have said they favor more transparency, but so far haven’t offered such transparency in any real way.