WASINGTON, June 15 (APP): The United States may decide to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan after President Trump gave the Pentagon the new authority to take a decision on the level of troops in that country, media reports said. President Trump had been weighing his options following a request of troops surge in Afghanistan by military generals in the Pentagon. In the backdrop of the new authority, Defense Minster Jim Mattis could now take a decision to deploy additional troops, reports said. Back in April, the President had given the same authority to the Pentagon about deciding the number of troops in Iraq and Syria. Top US military commanders, Gen.
John Nicholson of US forces in Afghanistan, and US Central Command head Gen. Joseph Votel, both have asked for a few thousand more troops for Afghanistan. Taliban has captured some areas since 2014 when the US forces ended their combat mission there. At a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing on Tuesday, Mattis told lawmakers that the US was not winning in Afghanistan and that the Taliban was surging throughout the country. The US military leadership believes that sending more troops to Afghanistan will provide more support to Afghans. Afghan forces have suffered 15,000 casualties in the first eight months of 2016, according to the statistics, and there has not been enough recruitment to fill the void. Mattis conceded that Taliban had a “good year last year. The United States currently have about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan in addition to about 5,000 NATO forces. Current US forces are helping Afghan forces in conducing counterterrorism operations and also providing assistance to the Afghan military. The US has lost more than 2,000 troops since the war began in 2001. In addition to 15,000 Afghani troops, more than 3,000 Afghan civilians have also lost their lives in 2016, the deadliest year so far since the UN mission there started keeping the record in 2009.