President Trump has made military strategy decision on Afghanistan, confirms Defence Secy

Trump calls KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists 'repugnant'

Signaling that the USA military expects its mission to continue, the top USA commander in Afghanistan on Sunday hailed the launch of the Afghan Army's new special operations corps, declaring that "we are with you and we will stay with you".

Since the war started almost 16 years ago, terrorists, primarily the Taliban, have killed 2,257 US service members and injured 20,257 others.

"If you [President Trump] failed to win the Afghan war with disciplined USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops, advanced technology, experienced military generals, consecutive strategies and mighty economy, you shall never be able to win it with mercenaries, notorious contractor firms and immoral stooges", said the Taliban letter. "So if you look at the region, it's a South Asia strategy, and we'll be addressing those issues in it".

"The fact of the matter is that the Afghan War can not be won with the deployment of additional foreign troops nor with the current war strategy", he said, adding that triumph in this regard requires change in the war strategy and structure of the armed forces. Their primary roles are to train and advise Afghan forces and to hunt down and kill members of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

The Afghan government only controls half of the country and is beset by endemic corruption and infighting.

The Department of State also added that a number of these attacks were planned and launched from safe havens in Pakistan.

Half of Afghanistan is either contested or under the Taliban's control, according to USA estimates.

United States defence secretary Jim Mattis confirmed on Sunday that the Trump administration had formulated its new Afghanistan war strategy but refused to provide further details.

Senior Republican Senator John McCain, a longtime critic of the war-fighting policies of Barack Obama, has expressed exasperation over Trump's lack of Afghanistan policy.

The decision comes after the departure from the White House on Friday of Steve Bannon, Trump's firebrand chief strategist, a nationalist who was said to be disinclined to seeing United States forces more deeply mired in the troubled region.

The administration has said its Afghanistan strategy will be informed by a review of its approach to the broader region, including Pakistan and India.

Trump and his national security team met on Friday at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland to reach agreement on a strategy. The expectation had been that he would agree to a modest boost in the US war effort, while also addressing broader political, economic and regional issues.

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Mattis said Sunday while en route to Amman, Jordan, that he is satisfied with how the administration formulated its new Afghanistan war strategy.

He said that the enemies have only one option to bring an end to the war they fight on behalf of neighboring countries and to stop the killing of Afghan civilians.

Mattis opposes the use of private contractors except in limited cases. The president wants to cut off all military aid to Pakistan.

Trump's advisers offered competing visions for bolstering Afghan forces against a resurgent Taliban.

At meetings with advisers earlier this year, media reported that Trump voiced frustration at the stalemate in fighting with the Taliban despite 16 years of war effort - something that USA intelligence agencies in May said might not change even with a small increase in US troops.

Americans are now helping the Afghan Army launch a new special operations corps.

He will "provide an update on the path forward for America's engagement" in Afghanistan and South Asia, the statement said.

At least two other options were examined, the officials said.

The officer was not authorized to discuss the details publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity. Mattis held off expanding the American forces.

The US now has around 8,400 troops in Afghanistan.

According to national security adviser H. R. McMaster, U.S. soldiers need to stay in Afghanistan for four more years, and their numbers have to increase modestly.

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