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McCain to unveil his own Afghan strategy

McCain to unveil his own Afghan strategy

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On
Aug 01, 2017 - 10:58

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Senator John McCain on Monday said that he would provide his own strategy for Afghanistaninfo-icon next month, ruing the Trump administration’s failure to announce its policy in more than six months.

“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 have cost us lives and treasure in Afghanistan. Our troops deserve better,” he said.

McCain, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, said: “When the Senate takes up the National Defense Authorization Act in September, I will offer an amendment based on the advice of some of our best military leaders that will provide a strategy for success in achieving America's national interests in Afghanistan.”

The Pentagon said no decision has been taken on Afghan policy review. “We're contributing to a process that's being led by the White House that is looking across our instruments of national power, not just military, but diplomatic, financial, intelligence and information as well to lay out what our desired end state is," Pentagon Press Secretary Jeff Davis told reporters.

"From that will be derived any follow-on decisions about troops or anything else," Davis said when asked about the increase in troop numbers. In the past, he recalled, top Pentagon leaders had spoken of adopting a regional approach to finding a permanent solution to the crisis.

The White House has authorised the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to set troops levels in Afghanistan. However, Mattis would not take such a call unless the strategy was in place, he said. Mattis, he claimed, wanted to get the strategy right before committing to a troop increase.

Also on Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported the Trump administration was also exploring the option of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan.

“Unable to agree on a plan to send up to 3,900 more American forces to help turn back Talibaninfo-icon advances in Afghanistan, the White House is taking a new look at what would happen if the US decided to scale back its military presence,” the daily said.

“‘It’s a macro question as to whether the US, this administration and this president are committed to staying,” one senior administration official was quoted as saying.

“It doesn’t work unless we are there for a long time, and if we don’t have the appetite to be there a long time, we should just leave. It’s an unanswered question.’” the official told the daily.

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