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U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Makes Unannounced Visit To Afghanistan

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, June 19, 2017

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top-ranking U.S. military officer, has arrived in Kabul on a previously unannounced visit as Washington considers sending more troops to Afghanistan.

General Joseph Dunford was due to meet with Afghan officials as well as U.S. and coalition leaders and troops during his visit, which expected to last several days.

International troops ended their combat mission in Afghanistan in December 2014, and the withdrawal of foreign troops led to a deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.

But U.S. media report that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis now plans to recommend sending another 3,000-5,000 troops to Afghanistan in order to break what he calls a "stalemate" between government forces and the Taliban.

The United States currently has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa