August 10, 2017
U.S. Republican Senator John McCain has proposed a new “strategy for success” in Afghanistan, which includes more counterterrorism forces in the war-torn country and giving them more freedom to target the Taliban, the Islamic State, and other extremist groups.
McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and an open critic of the policy of President Donald Trump’s administration in the region, said on August 10 that the United States was “adrift in Afghanistan.”
“Adopting a new strategy for achieving America’s national security interests in Afghanistan is a decision of the highest importance, one that should be subjected to rigorous scrutiny and debate within our government. But we must face facts: We are losing in Afghanistan and time is of the essence if we intend to turn the tide,” he said in the statement on his website.
Trump has resisted recommendations by the Pentagon to boost U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan from the current level of 8,400.
McCain, who is currently undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, said he will likely seek a vote on his strategy that would amend the current plan when the Senate returns in September and addresses the annual defense policy bill.
The proposed amendment calls for a “long-term, open-ended” U.S.-Afghanistan partnership that includes an “enduring U.S. counterterrorism presence.”
With reporting by Reuters, The Hill, and AP