Frustrated with Trump, McCain Unveils His Own Afghan War Strategy

Frustrated with Trump, McCain Unveils His Own Afghan War Strategy

The President should ensure that the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and USA military commanders have all the necessary means, based on political and security conditions on the ground in Afghanistan and unconstrained by arbitrary timelines, to carry out an integrated civil-military strategy as described above, including financial resources, civilian personnel, military forces and capabilities, and authorities. "We just don't have that plan", she said in response to a question. "The thousands of Americans putting their lives on the line in Afghanistan deserve better from their commander-in-chief", he said.

McCain, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the US needs to put strict conditions on continued assistance to Afghanistan requiring Kabul to demonstrate "measurable progress" in curbing corruption, strengthening the rule of law and improving the government's financial transparency. But among his plans is a proposal to integrate US military training and advisory teams at the battalion level of the Afghan armed forces known as "kandaks" - each of which has about 600 troops in it.

Frustrated by his options, 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 has so far resisted the Pentagon's recommendations to send nearly 4,000 more to expand training of Afghan military forces and bolster USA counterterrorism operations.

Finally, it calls for intensifying USA diplomatic efforts with Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, India, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and other nations to promote political reconciliation in Afghanistan. During a committee hearing in June, he told defence secretary James Mattis that he had been confident the Trump administration would deliver a plan for Afghanistan within a month or two after taking office.

A media report by Politico online magazine in a separate report on Thursday said that U.S. and Afghan military commanders were surprised over the time President Trump was taking to announce the new USA strategy in Afghanistan at a time when the war-torn country was witnessing deteriorating security situation.

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After taking office in January, Trump ordered a strategic review of the situation in Afghanistan, where some 8,400 U.S. soldiers and 5,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops are assisting the Afghan security forces in battling an emboldened Taliban.

The amendment he plans to propose adding to the defense policy bill calls for a "long-term, open-ended" U.S. -Afghanistan partnership that includes an "enduring U.S. counterterrorism presence".

"Adopting a new strategy for achieving America's national security interests in Afghanistan is a decision of the highest importance, one that should be subjected to rigorous scrutiny and debate within our government", he said. In the long term, the USA would provide "sustained support" as the Afghans improve their own capabilities, including intelligence, logistics, special forces, air lift and close air support.

To craft the strategy, McCain consulted with former military and intelligence officials. 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.

Among the Taliban's factions, the strongest is the Haqqani network, which has deep ties to Pakistan and its intelligence agency.