US Losing in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Mattis Tells Congress

Jim Mattis

Jim Mattis

"All I can tell you is that unless we get a strategy from you, you're going to get a strategy from us". The chairman noted he expected a new strategy months ago, but has yet to see it. McCain told Mattis that it is not the job of Congress to provide a strategy, but that the committee will start getting more vocal in its criticism if a plan is not presented soon.

Despite the uncertainty about United States operations in Afghanistan, though, American troop presence is still an insurance policy against another 9/11, Mattis told Sen. He told senators Tuesday that military officials are taking steps to make sure the delay in the new strategy is not endangering USA troops.

When asked about the state of the war in Afghanistan, Dunford said, "I don't assess we're in better shape than we were past year".

"In just a few years, if we don't change the trajectory, we will lose our qualitative and our quantitative competitive advantage", Marine Corps. The official also said that the United States estimates there are still several hundred ISIS fighters in eastern Afghanistan.

The US is not winning the fight against terror in Afghanistan as of now, Defence Secretary James Mattis has said, as he acknowledged that the Taliban is surging in the war-torn country.

President Donald Trump has granted the Pentagon authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, a USA official said yesterday, a move that could lead to the deployment of thousands more soldiers.

The top USA commander in Afghanistan told Congress in February that thousands more troops would be needed to break out of the current "stalemate".

Under McCain's questioning on Tuesday, Mattis specified that it would be ready in mid-July. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), advocated against pulling out of Afghanistan.

The secretary discussed the President's fiscal year 2018 defense budget request with the senators.

"A return to great power competition, marked by a resurgent and more aggressive Russian Federation and a rising, more confident, and assertive China, places the worldwide order under assault", the Pentagon chief said. But at some point we have to say 'look, Congress and the American people owe.

President Donald Trump is considering whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. Critics of the war effort say that the US has already spent more than $800 billion fighting in Afghanistan since 2001 and that the security situation has continued to worsen.

"I thank you, general, and I understand very well, as do members of this committee that some of this is beyond your control".

Mr Mattis has also declared himself "shocked" by the state of the U.S. military's readiness, blaming legal budget caps and the grind of 16 years of constant war. "With our allies, it would probably require a residual force doing training and maintaining the high-end capability so that the threats - should they mature - we can take them down". In the first eight months of 2016, Afghan forces suffered 15,000 casualties including more than 5,000 killed. The U.S. -backed Afghan government has been fighting Taliban insurgents since then.

About 8,500 US troops and another 5,000 other foreign allies are still stationed in Afghanistan, even though the official combat mission there ended in 2014. Of the over 11,400 casualties, almost 3,500 were killed and 7,920 were wounded, marking a three percent increase in casualties from the year before.

Reuters reported in late April that Trump's administration was carrying out a review of Afghanistan and conversations were revolving around sending between 3,000 and 5,000 USA and coalition troops there. About 5,000 other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops are participating in the 28-nation NATO-led mission.

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