Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday confirmed to lawmakers that President Trump has given him authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, but said any new additions to U.S. forces there haven’t been decided.
“At noon yesterday, President Trump delegated to me the authority to manage troop numbers in Afghanistan,” Mattis said in his opening remarks at a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing.
Mattis said the decision does not immediately change U.S. troop levels, now at 8,400 in Afghanistan, and the decision does not signal a broader change in military strategy there.
Mattis added that the Pentagon is working on a broad Afghanistan policy to be sent to Trump in several weeks. He added that the troop levels will be consistent with Trump’s “strategic direction and foreign policy.”
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