U.S. President Trump Donald (C) dellivers remarks after attending a swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary James Mattis (R) with Vice President Mike Pence at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Reuters: Trump gives Pentagon power to reset Iraq, Syria troop limits
President Donald Trump has given the military the authority to reset a confusing system of troop limits in Iraq and Syria that critics said allowed the White House to micro-manage battlefield decisions and ultimately obscured the real number of U.S. forces.
The Pentagon, which confirmed the move on Wednesday, said no change has yet been made to U.S. troop limits. It also stressed the U.S. strategy in Iraq and Syria still was focused on backing local forces to fight Islamic State - a tactic that has averted the need for a major U.S. ground force.
But the shift on troop limits was another sign of the greater authority Trump appears comfortable giving his military commanders to make battlefield decisions and could allow for more rapid increases in troop levels in the future.
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