The Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan has said that the United States’ new administration's strategy for Afghanistan has not been finalized, but that U.S officials are considering a further deployment of between 3,000 and 5,000 additional troops.
“General (John) Nicholson has made his recommendations to his chain of command and that is currently being discussed in Washington. We think it is reasonable to expect a decision from them sometime in the next month or so,” said Captain Bill Salvin, spokesman for Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
"The Taliban is also as you mentioned a very dangerous threat in Afghanistan and we are constantly supporting our Afghan partners in their battles against the Taliban. But again let me stress the most important thing for the government of Afghanistan and for the Taliban would be to come to a negotiated settlement, a form of reconciliation with the Taliban," he added.
Resolute Support said unlike former U.S president Barack Obama’s administration, the new administration would refrain from specifying a deadline for the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.
“Ultimately that will be decided in Washington what General Nicholson has asked for is a few thousands more troops so he can conduct his train, advise and assist mission below the core level and below the police zone level. So we essentially can train more people simultaneously and ultimately help meet the four-year road-map that president Ghani has laid out,” Salvin added.
“We have to remember that the reason why we are in Afghanistan is to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for international terrorists once again. NATO is also contributing to the fight against terrorism in many other ways. We have established a new division for intelligence. Sharing intelligence is key when it comes to addressing the terrorist threats,”NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Meanwhile, Taliban started their summer offensive on Friday titled “Operation Mansouri” which has been taken from the name of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, former leader of the group who was killed in a U.S airstrike in a remote area in south-west Pakistan last year.
In a statement released by the Taliban, the group claimed that currently they control more than a half of the country.
According to the statement, Mansouri would be carried out in two parts, military and non-military moves against foreign troops and government institutions.
The Afghan security forces launched their spring offensive against Taliban and other terrorist groups late in March.