Pentagon under fire for delays in new Afghanistan war plan

Mattis blames Congress for poor state of US combat readiness

But in testimony earlier this week, Mattis warned lawmakers that the US isn't winning the war in Afghanistan more than 15 years since USA forces were deployed to oust the country's Taliban leadership after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

A former United States official said such a decision might allow the White House to argue that it was not micromanaging as much as the administration of former president, Barack Obama, was sometimes accused of doing. Neither the White House nor the Pentagon confirmed the news. McCain expressing his frustration that there is no new strategy yet to "win" in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon is now conducting a broader military review involving both Afghanistan and Pakistan, so a decision on exactly how many additional troops might not come for several more weeks, defense officials have said in recent days. In April, he allowed Mattis to set US troop levels in Iraq and Syria, where Americans are supporting local forces fighting Islamic State militants.

"The American military effort in Afghanistan must be viewed as part of a larger regional context in South Asia", Mattis told the senators.

He insisted there won't be any changes to the number of US soldiers in Afghanistan just yet.

"That meant in the mountain country these troops were often fighting at a disadvantage".




Joseph Dunford, speaks as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and David Norquist, listen during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 12, 2017, in Washington. "I would refer you to Secretary Mattis at this point", White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.

Mattis was sharply criticized on Tuesday by Sen.

Asked what he hoped the situation in Afghanistan would look like a year from now, Mattis said violence would be down, government corruption would be reduced and the Taliban would be "rolled back", with less freedom of movement on the battlefield.

Those are not clear objectives but amorphous aspirations. To quote retired Marine Corps Commandant P.X. Kelly, "The mission of presence - that's not a military mission". How many thousands more lives lost? Given that Mattis is such a careful and thoughtful scholar of civil-military relations, it is puzzling why he would endorse and participate in such an extraordinary relationship with President Trump.

Mattis, the former commander of all Middle East wars, said on Tuesday that the U.S. is not winning the war in Afghanistan.

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