US Defence Secretary authorised to set troop levels in Afghanistan

US Defence Secretary authorised to set troop levels in Afghanistan

Trump and his advisers have requested $639 billion to fund ongoing Pentagon operations around the globe, including an extra $65 billion to sustain current armed conflicts.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., asked what "winning" in Afghanistan would mean.

'We have spent six years just getting by, asking more and more of those who serve, and putting off the choices that have to be made. If sent, the forces would help the fledgling Afghan military regain portions of the country that have fallen to the Taliban since US forces ended their combat mission there in 2014.

Last month the Pentagon said it was thinking about sending more soldiers to Afghanistan.

"It has blocked new programs, prevented service growth, stalled industry initiative and placed troops at greater risk", Mattis said as he urged the panel to do away with the Budget Control Act of 2011. But Congress has yet to see the plan.

The top USA commander in Afghanistan told Congress in February that thousands more troops would be needed to break out of the current "stalemate".

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared Monday that he was "shocked" upon his return to the Pentagon by the poor state of the USA military's readiness for combat.

Despite the uncertainty about U.S. operations in Afghanistan, though, American troop presence is still an insurance policy against another 9/11, Mattis told Sen.

The former Marine Corps general said that "we recognize the need for urgency". He added that the Trump administration is working on a comprehensive cyber defense strategy, but in the meantime the USA has enough understanding of Russia's cyber actions to defend against them. But at some point we have to say 'look, Congress and the American people owe. "The frustration that I feel is obviously palpable".

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday he would present options on Afghanistan to President Donald Trump "very soon", adding the strategy would take a regional approach rather than looking at the war-torn country in isolation.

Or as McCain described the situation, which Mattis subsequently confirmed, "We're not winning in Afghanistan".

Mattis sidestepped a question from Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., about an apparent disconnect on Qatar between Trump and Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state.

"Wouldn't it be not only appropriate but essential that that be incorporated in the president's budget because the ramifications of sequestration are clearly played out in every aspect of the budget?"

Mattis countered by saying, "I think we all know what needs to be done".

Afghanistan is the center of worldwide terrorism, he said. "I'm fighting as hard as I can to increase defense spending. Do you sense that?"

But Mattis declined to tip his hand on the emerging blueprint, saying only that it would not rely exclusively on the military and a decision would be coming soon. We believe that is guidance.

Reed told Mattis that "the budget that's submitted will not work". The upcoming strategy would include a regional approach with more contributions from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, Mattis said. "If we left the BCA levels, at least you could prioritize", he said. Both House and Senate members and the witnesses agreed that the US must end sequestration and repeal the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The fiscal 2017 budget started the road back to readiness, the secretary said.

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