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The Obama administration, with less than two weeks left in power, has announced it is sending some 300 Marines to Afghanistan’s Helmand province to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces struggling to push the group out of the top opium-producing Helmand.
“The Marine Corps has a long operational history in Afghanistan, particularly in Helmand Province. Advising and assisting Afghan defense and security forces will assist in preserving gains made together with the Afghans,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Salvin, a spokesman for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, noting that they will be in the region for nine months after deploying this year.
Donald - Trump
It will soon be up President-elect Donald Trump to decide how long they will stay.
Moreover, the U.S. Air Force dramatically increased the number of airstrikes it conducted in Afghanistan last year following President Barack Obama’s decision last year to widen the military’s authority to carry out offensive air operations in Afghanistan amid gains made by the Taliban and Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) affiliate in the country.
Number - Bombs - Afghanistan - Percent - Report
The number of bombs dropped in Afghanistan in 2016 rose by around 40 percent to 1,337, according to the undated report from U.S. Air Forces Central Command, notes the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
President Obama’s recent move to increase the number of troops in the country comes less than a week after the commander-in-chief touted in a farewell address to the U.S. armed forces:
Today - Forces - Mission—because - Afghanistan - Haven
Today our forces serve there on a more limited mission—because we must never again allow Afghanistan to be used for a safe haven in attacks against our nation…That’s how we’ve brought most of our troops home—nearly 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan down to 15,000 today.
He also declared a “responsible” end to the U.S. combat mission at the end of 2014.
July - Year - President - Course - Changes
In July of last year, the President changed course, announcing changes to his...
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