WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says President Donald Trump has given him the authority to determine U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan.
Mattis says this does not reflect any change in military strategy for the 16-year war.
Mattis announced the decision at a Senate committee hearing. Other officials had disclosed the decision Tuesday evening.
Mattis said there will be no immediate change in the U.S. troop level in Afghanistan, which currently stands at 8,400. He said the administration is working on a broad Afghanistan strategy, and that he intends to set U.S. troop levels consistent with Trump's "strategic direction and his foreign policy."