19:11 GMT +313 December 2018
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    In this May 30, 2016, photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, speaks during a Phoenix Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.

    McCain Vows to Add Afghan Strategy to US Defense Bill if Trump Fails to Do it

    © AP Photo / Ralph Freso
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    US Senator John McCain said on Thursday that he would amend the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to include a strategy for US forces in Afghanistan if President Donald Trump’s administration fails to come up with one by September.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On July 14, Defense Secretary James Mattis said the US Defense Department was close to completing its policy review for a new strategy in Afghanistan. Media reports later said that Trump was unsatisfied with the strategies presented to him and sent them back.

    "I urge the President to… decide on a policy and strategy that can achieve our national security interests in Afghanistan and the region," McCain said. "If the President fails to do this by the time the Senate takes up the defense authorization bill in September, I will offer an amendment to that legislation, which will provide such a strategy."

    Citing congressional testimony from Gen. John Nicholson, commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, McCain blamed Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama for the United States not winning the war in the country.

    "The reason for this failure is a lack of successful policy and strategic guidance from Washington over many years, which has continued in the first several months of this new administration," McCain said.

    The United States launched an anti-terrorist military operation in Afghanistan in 2001, with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) contingent later deployed in the country after the UN Security Council authorized the move. The US-ISAF anti-terrorist coalition was engaged in fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorist groups.

    NATO withdrew its military contingent from Afghanistan in 2014, replacing it with a non-military Resolute Support mission. Its objective is to train, advise and assist Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in preserving peace and stability in the country. However, in 2015, Daesh terrorist group expanded its presence in Afghanistan, destabilizing the situation there.


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