Widely seen as a shot across the bow at the Trump administration’s lethargic pace in setting a strategy for the war in Afghanistan, Senator John McCain issued a statement Monday announcing the inclusion of an Afghan strategy in the National Defense Authorization Act in September.
“When the Senate takes up the National Defense Authorization Act in September, I will offer an amendment based on the advice of some our best military leaders that will provide a strategy for success in achieving America’s national interests in Afghanistan,” The statement read.
“More than six months after President Trump’s inauguration, there still is no strategy for success in Afghanistan. Eight years of a ‘don’t lose’ strategy has cost us lives and treasure in Afghanistan. Our troops deserve better.”
Secretary of Defense James Mattis had promised an Afghan strategy would be ready by mid-July of this year. As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain has long called for a coherent strategy from the new administration, threatening to provide one to Mattis if the administration failed to do so.
“I was confident that in the first 30 to 60 days we were going to have a strategy from which to start working. So all I can tell you is, that unless we get a strategy from you, you’re going to a get strategy from us,” McCain said in June. “The fact is, it’s not our job. It’s not our job. It’s yours.”
McCain was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, but has used his time outside of the hospital to remain as controversial as ever, casting the deciding vote which killed the Republican-led Obamacare repeal initiative last week.
But despite reports of Trump’s military leaders asking for a surge of troops into Afghanistan, it appears Trump may be considering a withdrawal altogether from the country, leaving behind a smaller force of private contractors in the wake of America’s longest war, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Image courtesy of U.S. Embassy in Estonia