Trump allows Mattis to raise Afghanistan troop level

US President Donald Trump has reportedly allowed Pentagon chief James Mattis to increase the number of American troops in Afghanistan, amid mounting criticism about the new administration’s strategy in the war-torn country.

Mattis, who has long been an advocate of sending more troops to Afghanistan, now only needs to decide how many additional forces he wants there and when, the New York Times reported Tuesday, citing three administration officials.

Trump granted the authority to Mattis on Tuesday, according to one official, hours before the Pentagon chief appeared in the Senate to answer questions about Trump’s Afghanistan policy.

“We are not winning in Afghanistan right now, we will correct this as soon as possible,” he told Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, in response to his criticism about the lack of an Afghanistan strategy.

McCain said the Trump administration had yet to offer a new strategy different that that of…

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