Defense Department News

Military Reviews Recommendations on Afghanistan for President

March 17, 2016 | BY Jim Garamone

Military leaders are reviewing recommendations on the way forward in Afghanistan before presenting them to President Barack Obama, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. told the Senate Armed Services Committee here today.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the situation in Afghanistan is challenging. He added that assessments by the current commander in the country -- Army Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. -- and the previous commander -- Army Gen. John F. Campbell -- are realistic and that the Taliban remain a threat.

Lessons Learned

The chairman told the Senate committee that military officials are examining the lessons learned in 2015 and will apply those to Afghanistan operations in 2016. Dunford, who recently visited Afghanistan, said the mission now is to help Afghan security forces secure their country. There are around 9,800 American troops in the country and another 3,000 coalition troops.

“We have recommendations from General Campbell for changes … to make in 2016 as a result of lessons learned in 2015,” Dunford said. “This week, we conducted a video teleconference, Secretary Carter and I, with General Nicholson, who is on the ground in Afghanistan right now, to get his thoughts. And we're in the process of making recommendations to the president for changes that might be made to make us more effective in supporting Afghan forces in 2016 and making them more successful.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews)