Trump has Delegated Decisions on Afghan Troop Levels: Mattis

Thursday, 15 Jun, 2017

Rather, the president is dispersing his own responsibility to an extremely popular and colorful retired Marine general.

The White House indicates it can send more trainers now that an Obama-era cap was lifted.

It can not be overstated how abnormal this new White House-Pentagon dynamic is.

Deliberations include giving more authority to forces on the ground and taking more aggressive action against Taliban fighters. Here, it was impractical for President George W. Bush to be intimately involved overseeing such a small and time-sensitive decision. Still missing: an overall Trump strategy for America's longest conflict.

In another congressional hearing on Tuesday, Mattis said that United States is still "not winning" the longest US war in Afghanistan. "I don't think that's a helluva lot to ask". We will present this to the President in the coming weeks.

Mattis, when pressed again about the plan, said getting a government-wide strategy can't be done quickly, and that there are ongoing efforts to ensure North Atlantic Treaty Organisation participation so that it's "not all on the backs of American taxpayers". Jack Reed (R-R.I.), that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies appear ready to contribute additional troops to the mission, dubbed Resolute Support.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., asked Dunford whether the diplomatic rift between Qatar and several of its neighbours, including Saudi Arabia, is impeding USA military operations, given that the US uses Qatar's al-Udeid air base as a critical air operations centre for the wars.

Mattis's latest assessment comes almost 16 years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and amid a war that continues to claim the lives of U.S. troops each year - and those of thousands of local forces and civilians.

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

Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provide testimony on the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from the Department of Defense to members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services during a hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington D.C., June 13, 2017. "We pulled out our forces, at a time ... when the violence was lower", he said.

Mattis made the announcement a day after being verbally hammered by Sen.

Halting the Taliban's momentum would "require a change in our approach from the last several years", he said. Like previous senior civilian and military officials, Mattis did not offer metrics that could be measured, evaluated, and falsified - the only basis on which to evaluate policy.