The Pentagon is considering sending between 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to advise Afghan military and police units fighting the Taliban, as well as an unspecified number of special operations forces to fight ISIS and al-Qaida militants along the Pakistani border.
In February, Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, told Congress that thousands of more troops were needed in part because outside powers have increased their meddling in Afghanistan in the last year, making it tougher for the US-backed government in Kabul to quell the violence.
The situation is far from a stalemate, however. The Institute for the Study of War’s latest assessment released in February shows the situation on the ground deteriorating. Of roughly 400 districts in Afghanistan, the Taliban controls, contests, or influences 171 of them, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.