Pentagon: US troop total in Afghanistan larger than reported

KORENGAL VALLEY, AFGHANISTAN - OCTOBER 27: U.S. soldiers board an Army Chinook transport helicopter after it brought fresh soldiers and supplies to the Korengal Outpost on October 27, 2008 in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. The military spends huge effort and money to fly in supplies to soldiers of the 1-26 Infantry based in the Korengal Valley, site of some of the fiercest fighting of the Afghan war. The unpaved road into the remote area is bad and will become more treacherous with the onset of winter. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — 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.