U.S. Senator John McCain on Monday blasted the Trump Administration for lacking a strategy in Afghanistan, threatening that Congress would take over if the administration fails to develop one.
McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that if the administration fails to develop a strategy for success, “Congress will need to play a greater role.”
“After nearly 16 years of war, we are at a stalemate in Afghanistan. Worse, we have no strategy to end that stalemate and achieve victory. The recent deaths of three brave American soldiers underscore the urgency for a new strategy to turn the situation around in Afghanistan,” McCain added.
McCain’s criticism is an escalation of Congressional frustration with the Trump Administration’s handling of Afghanistan. McCain has been willing to criticize Trump, but has often has tempered his misgivings by emphasizing his confidence in Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the other members of Trump’s national security team. But those sentiments were absent from Monday’s warning.
“Mattis testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that we are not winning in Afghanistan,” McCain said. “And yet, six months into the new administration, it still has not delivered a strategy. We cannot keep going like this. If the administration fails to develop a strategy for success, Congress will need to play a greater role.”
The Afghan government did not comment on Senator McCain’s remarks, but did emphasize that the strategy will be announced in NATO summit by the end of the month.