McCain unveils 'strategy for success' in Afghanistan

McCain unveils 'strategy for success' in Afghanistan

McCain unveils 'strategy for success' in Afghanistan

Strictly conditioning further US military, economic, and governance assistance programs to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan upon measurable progress in achieving joint U.S.

"Nearly seven months into President Trump's administration, we've had no strategy at all as conditions on the ground have steadily worsened", said Mr McCain, the Republican chairman of the senate armed services committee and a leading voice in congress on national security matters.

"America is adrift in Afghanistan".

Defense Secretary James Mattis said the administration was "pretty close" to a decision but weren't "going to meet some timeline if we are not ready". But McCain wants them to be less constrained in carrying out missions against the Taliban, al-Qaida, a growing Islamic State affiliate and other extremists.

It is in the national security interest of the United States that Afghanistan never again serve as a sanctuary for worldwide terrorists to conduct attacks against the United States, its allies, or its core interests.

Frustrated by his options, Mr Trump has withheld approval of a long-delayed Afghanistan war strategy as he searches for a plan that will allow American forces to pull out once and for all. It's been almost 16 years since the United States invaded the then Taliban-ruled country in response to the al-Qaida attacks of September 11, 2001. Trump's administration is balancing future action in Afghanistan with the President's past statements, including promises during the campaign to get the United States out of foreign conflicts.

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The troop deployment has been held up amid broader strategy questions, including how to engage regional powers in an effort to stabilise the fractured nation.

These powers include US friends and foes, from Pakistan and India to China, Russia and Iran. The Pentagon's plans do not call for a radical departure from the limited approach endorsed by former president Barack Obama, and several officials have credited Mr Trump with rightly asking tough questions, such as how the prescribed approach might lead to success. John McCain said Thursday he'll try to force the debate on Capitol Hill, offering his own plan that would force a troop increase.

"We're getting close, we're getting very close", Trump said in a press conference on Thursday.

McCain's plan outlines short- and long-term goals that envision a significant USA presence on the ground - an approach "to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a sanctuary for terrorists to plot and conduct attacks against America".

Pentagon decision of deploying more troops in Afghanistan comes when recently the Afghan Security and Defense Forces have successfully repelled the multiple attacks of Taliban fighters who targeted a bridge in the district and to create a hurdle to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) pipeline project in Gereshk district in the southern Helmand province in which over 40 Taliban insurgents and four soldiers were killed. In the long term, the US would provide "sustained support" as the Afghans improve their own capabilities, including intelligence, logistics, special forces, air lift and close air support. To accomplish this goal, we need an integrated civil-military approach to bolster USA counterterrorism efforts, strengthen the capability and capacity of the Afghan government and security forces, and intensify diplomatic efforts to facilitate a negotiated peace process in Afghanistan in cooperation with regional partners.

McCain's plan also envisions more USA air power and combat support for the Afghan military, and expects that "in the long term" the United States will provide "sustained support" for those troops, even as Afghan forces become more self-sufficient.

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