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Trump To Discuss Afghanistan Strategy With Advisers At Camp David


U.S. President Donald Trump (left) listens to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (center) as Vice President Mike Pence looks on.

U.S. President Donald Trump will meet on August 18 with his national security advisers at the Camp David presidential retreat to discuss U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia, the White House has said.

The meeting comes as the Pentagon reported another U.S. soldier was killed during an operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in Afghanistan.

Media reports have said the administration is split over what to do, with Trump questioning why U.S. forces haven't won the longest-running war in U.S. history as the Pentagon recommends sending thousands more troops into the 16-year battle against the Taliban.

U.S. commanders in Afghanistan say the conflict is in a "stalemate." Despite years of support from the United States and NATO, Afghan security forces struggle to hold back not only the Taliban but an increasing IS presence in the country.

The Taliban itself in an open letter this week urged Trump to pull out U.S. troops, saying their presence in the country prolongs the war and prevents reconciliation.

The United States maintains 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, with about 5,000 NATO forces.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is urging Trump to address the Afghan war as part of a broader strategy for the region, particularly including Pakistan, where some Afghan militant groups have established bases near the border.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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