MILITARY

Top US general says more troops needed in Afghanistan

  • Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, before the Senate Armed Services Senate Committee. Nicholson said he needs a "few thousand" more troops to better accomplish a key part of the mission in the war-torn country.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, before the Senate Armed Services Senate Committee. Nicholson said he needs a "few thousand" more troops to better accomplish a key part of the mission in the war-torn country. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)  (The Associated Press)

  • Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, to testify before the Senate Armed Services Senate Committee. Nicholson says he needs a "few thousand" more troops to better accomplish a key part of the mission in the war-torn country, adding, Russia's meddling in Afghanistan is proving to be problematic. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, to testify before the Senate Armed Services Senate Committee. Nicholson says he needs a "few thousand" more troops to better accomplish a key part of the mission in the war-torn country, adding, Russia's meddling in Afghanistan is proving to be problematic. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)  (The Associated Press)

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says he needs a "few thousand" more troops to properly train and advise the Afghan military.

Gen. John Nicholson didn't provide an exact number while testifying Thursday before a Senate committee. He says the additional forces could come from the U.S. or its allies.

There are currently about 8,400 U.S. troops conducting counterterrorism operations against insurgents and working with Afghanistan's military.

Nicholson also says Russia's meddling in Afghanistan is problematic. He says Moscow has been publicly legitimizing the Taliban by asserting its militants are fighting Islamic terrorists while the Afghan government is not. The general says this is a "false narrative."

Nicholson says Afghan security forces have cut the number of Islamic State fighters by half and reduced the territory they hold by two-thirds.