The Pentagon is pushing back against reports that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has decided to dispatch 4,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, insisting no decision has been made pending consultations with other government agencies and allies.
"Secretary Mattis has made no decisions on a troop increase for Afghanistan," the Defense Department said in a statement Friday. "As he said throughout the week in testimony, the revised Afghanistan strategy will be presented to the president for his approval in the coming weeks."
President Donald Trump has delegated more authority to the Pentagon to make decisions on troop levels and strategy — a departure from President Barack Obama, who was widely criticized for micro-managing deployment decisions.
"The president has delegated force management authority for Afghanistan to the secretary," the Pentagon statement continued. "The secretary will continue to follow the president’s guidance on our overall strategy. Any decisions about troop numbers will be made only after consultation with the interagency, the Afghan government, NATO allies and coalition partners."