McCain says the Trump administration has failed to inform Congress of the details of the strategy spelled out by Trump. “If not, I’ll go back in” to ask Trump for additional troops.
Dunford acknowledged, however, that the war in Afghanistan is now a stalemate.
Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Mattis hints at US military options for North Korea Mattis: US to send 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan MORE said Tuesday. Under the Obama administration, the Taliban needed to be within a certain distance of United States troops before striking.
Trump during the presidential campaign railed against the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – which was negotiated by the Obama administration along with Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – and vowed to rip it up. U.S forces no longer have to be in contact with the enemy before opening fire.
“The fighting will continue to be carried out by our Afghan partners”, he said, “but our advisers will accompany tactical units to advise and bring North Atlantic Treaty Organisation fire support to bear when needed”. “My military assessment is that we drew down our advisory effort and combat support for the Afghan forces too far and too fast”, he told the senators.
“He is looking to make certain we have the right (Taliban representatives), so it’s just not an office in existence”, he said.
Mattis’ and Dunford’s testimony on Capitol Hill comes during the week of the 16th anniversary of US forces fighting in Afghanistan. John McCain, the committee chairman, told Mattis. Mattis told that ISI runs its own policy and doesn’t seem to be controlled by the federal government. Iran also has said it has no intention ever of acquiring nuclear weapons, but the USA and Israel are among the countries that do not accept those assurances, citing Iran’s past nuclear activities.
He shared India’s concern over the Pakistan’s involvement in cross border terror activities saying, “We’ve seen the attacks on India as well”. Afghan military casualties were also going down, he added.
The top US military commander also said that he thinks Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has ties to militant groups.
Mattis reiterated the change in the afternoon while speaking to the House Armed Services Committee: “We are no longer bound by the need for proximity to our forces”.
Dunford said that, for many years, there has been a “short-term” view on Afghanistan, which led Afghans, the Taliban, and regional actors to hedge, assuming the USA was going to pull out.
The United States is planning to send about 3,000 additional troops to its 11,000 already in Afghanistan to aid Kabul’s fight against the resurgent Taliban, 16 years after the US -led invasion drove the militants from power. While that was a good scenario militarily for the U.S. “but politically it makes it more problematic to try to find out who actually speaks for Taliban”.