Trump has again pushed back on the Pentagon’s new goal of reducing the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq to as few as 3,000 by 2020.
The president on Friday tweeted that the “worst-case scenario” for troop levels in Afghanistan and the United States’ longest war is an additional 500,000 troops, down from the current 3,400.
The tweet was the latest in a string of statements from the president on a range of policy and political issues, including his push to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, his decision to withdraw the U:S.
military from Saudi Arabia and the death of the American missionary John Young, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2014.
“We’re now seeing more of a shift to the worst-case scenarios,” White House spokesman Sarah Sanders said in an interview.
The military’s goal of limiting deployments to 3,500 by 2020 is one of several policy initiatives Trump has announced since taking office on Jan. 20.
The new goal is meant to provide an additional layer of security to U.N. headquarters in New York and other U.A.E. locations, including in the Uruzgan province in northwestern Afghanistan.
The number of U.P. forces currently in Afghanistan has risen sharply, from about 50,000 to more than 120,000.
The number of military advisers on the ground has also risen, as the Trump administration has made more aggressive moves in the region.
Trump has also signaled he would push for increased troop levels to more quickly combat the threat of Islamic State militants.
He recently suggested that he could pull out of the Paris climate change accord and increase U.U.S. troops to as many as 4,500 troops by the end of the year.
Trump also has signaled a push for the military to be more involved in global affairs, with his administration signing off on a new NATO treaty that would give U.s. forces in Europe more flexibility to engage in operations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.