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Pentagon acknowledges about 11,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan

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Pentagon acknowledges about 11,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Wednesday acknowledged that there are about 11,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, thousands more than it has previously stated publicly and giving an accurate picture of the U.S. military footprint in that country for the first time in years. The announcement does not represent an increase in troops and came after U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis expressed frustration with the method of counting U.S. troops in conflict zones. “This is not a troop increase,” but rather an effort to be more transparent about the total size of the U.S. force, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said. The Pentagon has said previously that there are roughly 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, under a cap set during Barack Obama’s administration.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Warren Strobel; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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