The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday unveiled his own strategy for the U.S. in Afghanistan as he says Trump’s administration isn’t coming up with one.
Sen. John McCain Afghan strategy includes adding more U.S. troops for counterterrorism missions, increasing U.S. airpower to aid Afghan forces and providing the U.S. military with broader authority to target enemy forces including the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaeda and Islamic State.
The plan also includes advising Afghan forces at the Kandak, or battalion level, which is about 600 troops.
“We must face facts: we are losing in Afghanistan and time is of the essence if we intend to turn the tide,” McCain said in a statement as reported by CNN. “We need an integrated civil-military approach to bolster U.S. counterterrorism efforts, strengthen the capability and capacity of the Afghan government and security forces, and intensify diplomatic efforts to facilitate a negotiated peace process in Afghanistan in cooperation with regional partners.”
McCain wants the U.S. to enter into an agreement with the Afghan government for an enduring U.S. counterterrorism presence in Afghanistan, and he wants to put more pressure on Pakistan to stop providing sanctuaries to the Taliban and Haqqani Network.
McCain’s strategy also includes Pakistan, which would be subject to graduated diplomatic and military costs “as long as it continues to provide support and sanctuary to terrorist and insurgent groups.”
It has been more than six months since Donald Trump took office as U.S. President, but still his administration yet to announce a strategy on Afghanistan.