Mattis Warns Against US Pullout From Afghanistan, Says Afghan Forces Fully Engaged

Mattis Warns Against US Pullout From Afghanistan, Says Afghan Forces Fully Engaged

Mattis Warns Against US Pullout From Afghanistan, Says Afghan Forces Fully Engaged

"I believe at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with", Mr Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington.

Mattis and Dunford billed the plan as a "conditions-based" strategy, not dependent on a hard timeline for withdrawal of troops.

USA officials say the White House has tentatively scheduled Trump's speech for October 12 in Washington.

During the hearing, Sen.

The strategy, created to end the stalemate in the region, replaces time constraints with a conditions-based approach and will seek to ensure Afghanistan never becomes a haven for terrorists again, Mattis told the senators. "If not, I'll go back in" to ask Trump for additional troops. However, only now the U.S. appears to have realised Pakistan's faults and, not only this, they have openly started talking about these issues.

Mattis said there was now a "regenerated sense" the Afghan army can push the Taliban into a position where they can have no hope of winning and has to talk. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict. "But the uncertainty in the region about the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation campaign has been replaced by certainty due to the implementation of President Trump's new South Asia strategy".

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Mattis played down an apparent split between the U.S. President Donald Trump and his top diplomat over outreach to North Korea, saying America's focus was still on finding a diplomatic solution to the dispute with Pyongyang. And he said the more than 3,000 additional USA troops going there would "reinforce" the coalition's advisory role to Afghanistan forces. The bumper-sticker version of the strategy is "4R+S", the secretary said: regionalize, realign, reinforce, reconcile and sustain.

The rules of engagement have also changed, Mattis said. This will enable Afghan forces "to take the fight to the enemy", rather than being cornered into defensive positions, he said. Can you explain to us their role - and how we can leverage them moving forward, and that whole-of-government support....what does that look like?

"It used to be we have to basically be in contact with that enemy", Mattis said. The increase will expand training of the Afghan military and beef up USA counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida and a growing Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, as well as the Taliban and other extremist groups.

Wittman represents the military-heavy 1st District, which stretches from the Middle Peninsula north to Stafford and Manassas.

"It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction", Trump said. After Trump's new policy was announced, though, McCain applauded the president "for taking a big step in the right direction". "We must be well-informed", a frustrated McCain, R-Ariz., told Mattis and Dunford at the hearing.

This comes after former US President Barack Obama's administration in 2009 ordered 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, bringing troop levels to more than 100,000 and shrinking the areas controlled by the Taliban. "And unfortunately, we still have far more questions than answers about this new strategy", he continued.

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