United States not winning in Afghanistan, defense chief Mattis says

United States not winning in Afghanistan, defense chief Mattis says

But SASC chairman Sen.

"The regime's nuclear weapons program is a clear and present danger to all, and the regime's provocative actions, manifestly illegal under global law, have not abated despite United Nations' censure and sanctions", Mattis said in a written statement to the House Armed Services Committee. He also called on Congress to support DoD's request to conduct another round of base closures and realignments, saying this could save up to $2 billion a year.

McCain said the Defense Department's budget request can not be fulfilled without an updated strategy in Afghanistan, and in conflicts around the world more broadly.

But McCain's frustration bubbled over when he asked why there is still no strategy for winning in Afghanistan.

It is important that the DoD prepares a comprehensive strategy in consultation with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and US commander, and that they weigh the challenges Afghanistan faces, said Mattis.

"Moving forward, the [fiscal] 2019 budget, informed by the national defense strategy, will have to make hard choices and reshape the 2019 to 2023 defense program", Mattis said. Mattis said the Taliban was surging throughout the country and that he planned to present lawmakers with a strategy for the United States' longest running war by mid-July.

"All I can tell you is that unless we get a strategy from you, you're going to get a strategy from us".

Mattis added that there are "actions underway" to make sure the military doesn't "pay a price for the delay", without elaborating.

The US defense chief also said US dominance of the air is challenged by the "proliferation of advanced integrated air defense networks and 5th-generation aircraft".

The Trump administration has been pressing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to contribute additional forces for the Afghanistan fight even as the United States weighs options on how many more of its own troops it will send. The secretary has sought to reassure allies in both Europe and the Pacific in recent months that the United States still stands with them, after President Donald Trump repeatedly raised questions about whether he was committed to longstanding military alliances.

At the same time, McCain said the USA just "can't keep going like this" without having a workable strategy on Afghanistan. "But that in no way does that relieve me of the need to deliver that strategy to you", he added.

The former Marine Corps general said that "we recognize the need for urgency".

McCain said he was confident that within the first 30-60 days of the Trump administration, a strategy would be produced.

"It's not our job. Do you agree that we are not winning in Afghanistan?"

The Taliban "had a good year last year", Mattis said, referencing gains made by the militant group that has been battling US -led troops in Afghanistan since 2001.

Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, discussing how the Pentagon's budget will be used to address a myriad of issues, from troop use in Afghanistan and Syria to media reports of cyber threats from Russian Federation.

On Monday night, Mattis criticized Congress for not repealing defense spending caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. Reed asked. "And remaining silent, as I believe he did in the budget, leaves a lot of people wondering what is his real position or does he even understand what's going on?"

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