Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, unlike former Obama administration officials, wants to obliterate the enemy and win.
According to new reports, the United States is deploying dozens of additional marines to provide support for 300 others in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province — an area chock-full of Taliban fighters and opium.
Citing anonymous U.S. defense officials, NBC News reports, “Task Force Southwest, based in Helmand Province in southwestern Afghanistan, requested the additional Marines to help with internal force protection. … There are currently more than 300 Marines assigned to Task Force Southwest, and the total additional force is less than 100 marines.”
NBC News acknowledges that a spokesperson for Marine Corps Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) refused to confirm the deployment, saying, “The repositioning and movement of forces in the CENTCOM [area of responsibility], to include presently deployed Marines, happen at the discretion of the CENTCOM Commander.”
A defense official told NBC News that under President Donald Trump, “the commander on the ground has the authority to move people in theater around.”
U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, is charged with overseeing American military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Gen. Joseph Votel, the chief of CENTCOM, reportedly approved the request for additional forces.
The unnamed defense officials noted that the new deployment has nothing to do with President Donald Trump’s long-awaited Afghanistan strategy, but instead fulfills a request from a commander on the ground, identified as Marine Brig. Gen. Roger Turner.
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