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