In a statement, McCain cited the recent attack by an Afghan soldier on three members of the 101st Airborne Division where the soldiers were all killed and stated that he hopes that this will “turn the situation around in Afghanistan.”
“After nearly 16 years of war, we are at a stalemate in Afghanistan,” he added. “Worse, we have no strategy to end that stalemate and achieve victory.”
McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, pointed to testimony last week by Defense Secretary James Mattis, who said that the U.S. is not winning in Afghanistan.
There are 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan involved in training and advising the Afghan military — 2,000 of whom are involved in counterterrorism operations against al-Qaeda and the ISIS affiliate in the country.
Last week President Donald Trump authorized Mattis to increase the military presence in Afghanistan. U.S. military commanders have recommended 2,000 to 5,000 additional troops in the country, according to American officials. Mattis has not yet made a determination on troop levels.
“We cannot keep going like this,” said McCain. “If the administration fails to develop a strategy for success, Congress will need to play a greater role.”
Trump and Defense Chief Mattis hope for an additional 3000-5000 additional troops in Afghanistan to help turn the stalemate into a winning situation. “Defense Secretary Mattis testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that we are not winning in Afghanistan. And yet, six months into the new administration, it still has not delivered a strategy,” McCain said.
Later on Monday Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said at the National Press Club Monday that the administration will have a strategic review complete on Afghanistan sometimes in mid-July.
The entire article and interview from ABC News can be found here:
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