Pentagon: US troop total in Afghanistan larger than reported

(AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pentagon officials for the first time say there are about 11,000 U.S. forces currently deployed to Afghanistan.

That is far more than the 8,400 total acknowledged under the previous administration’s troop cap.

Military officials have long quietly acknowledged there were far more forces in the country than the cap allowed, but commanders shuffled troops in and out, labeled many “temporary,” and used other personnel accounting tactics to artificially keep the public count low.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White declined to provide similar details for Iraq and Syria, where there also are thousands more than the Pentagon publicly admits.

The Afghanistan troop announcement comes as the Pentagon is preparing to deploy about 3,900 more Americans to the war to expand the training and advising of Afghan forces and boost counterterror operations.