President Donald Trump, arriving at the Pentagon to huddle with national security leaders Thursday, said “we’ll see” if more U.S. troops are going to be sent to Afghanistan.
Trump convened a closed “political-military” meeting that lasted about 90 minutes and covered a range of national security topics, including a review of Afghanistan troop levels and the ongoing U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State.
In response to a shouted question about whether the U.S. will send more troops to Afghanistan, Trump said “we’ll see.”
“And we’re doing very well against ISIS. ISIS is falling fast, very fast," he continued.
Also slated to be in attendance were Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and some top White House aides, including son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The fight against the Islamic State just notched a victory in retaking control of the Iraqi city of Mosul, though clearing operations in the city spearheaded by Iraqi forces continue and there is still much work to do before the terrorist group is defeated.
Following the victory in Mosul, Iraqi Security Forces will focus on clearing ISIS out of Tal Afar, Iraq, about 40 miles west of Mosul, Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said earlier this week. It’s still to be decided when operations will begin to clear Hawija and Al-Qa’im, Davis said.
The operation to clear the terrorist group from its headquarters in Raqqa, Syria, has been ongoing for nearly 50 days.
The U.S. is also fighting the Islamic State’s offshoot in Afghanistan. A U.S. strike killed the leader of the Islamic State in the Khorasan Province last week and the Pentagon estimates there are “hundreds” of terrorists in the group in Afghanistan.
There are currently about 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan targeting both the Islamic State and the Taliban, as well as training local Afghan forces.
The administration is currently reviewing whether more American forces are needed, and Mattis said last month that he discussed ally troop levels during a visit to NATO.