Defense Secretary James Mattis went to Capitol Hill on Monday to ask for an extension of the Authorization for Use of Military Force, a law that dates back to shortly after 9/11, which authorized the president to deploy the U.S. military to combat terror organizations without asking for permission from Congress.
This fall more than 4,000 more U.S. troops will be deploying to Afghanistan, a conflict authorized by the law and now in its 17th year. The U.S. already has around 8,500 troops on the ground in the region, but this new effort is a bid to boost a combat force tasked with destroying the Taliban, which has been gaining ground against Afghan government forces.
VICE News joined the 3rd Infantry Division of Fort Stewart, Georgia, as a new generation of soldiers deployed for Afghanistan.
For many troops flying out, this is their first deployment overseas, and their first in a theater of war.
Watch the bonus clip below to see what it was like on the bus ride to Hunter Army Airfield.
These video segments originally aired Oct. 30, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.