Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Mattis that the USA has an urgent need for “a change in strategy, and an increase in resources if we are to turn the situation around”.
McCain said the Defense Department’s budget request can not be fulfilled without an updated strategy in Afghanistan, and in conflicts around the world more broadly.
North Korea’s advancing missile and nuclear programmes are the “most urgent and dangerous” threat to United States national security, U.S. defence secretary Jim Mattis said.
The U.S. military’s qualitative and quantitative competitive advantage over its foes is in jeopardy if Congress does not provide stable and predictable funding, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Senate Armed Services Committee here today.
The defence secretary warned that a war with North Korea would be “very, very serious” and be unlike anything the world has seen since 1953 when the Korean war ended. The top commander there has told lawmakers he could use several thousand more US troops to end the stalemate in the country.
“Congress owes the American people a strategy”, the Arizona senator said, adding that the families of three U.S soldiers killed in Afghanistan last weekend “know we don’t have a strategy now”.
“The problems that originate their do not stay there”, warned the secretary.
Shannon said the USA and Japan also reaffirmed the important role China can play in worldwide efforts to convince Pyongyang the weapons programs “do not create any hopeful path to the future”.
Last week, South Korea’s top national security adviser said Seoul did not aim to change its agreement on the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system to protect against North Korea, despite a decision to delay its full installation.
President Trump has reportedly been weighing a request to send 3,000 to 5,000 more US troops to the country to break what top generals have described as a stalemate.
Asked to elaborate on the risk by Sen.
“We could generally deploy our forces when we wanted, assemble them where we wanted, and operate how we wanted”.
His comments come a day after the Pentagon identified the three US soldiers killed by an Afghan soldier over the weekend in Nangarhar province in the eastern part of the country. He said he understands the urgency.
Mattis noted said these developments put the entire worldwide order at risk.
Aiming to succeed where his predecessors failed, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called on Congress Monday to allow the military services to shutter excess bases – a move the Pentagon concludes will save billions of dollars but one that lawmakers have previously rejected. More than 2,200 U.S. troops have died, and more than 20,000 more have been wounded. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations such as Britain also have lost troops during the conflict. Almost 2,400 US troops have been killed in fighting in Afghanistan since 2001.
Some US officials questioned the benefit of sending more troops to Afghanistan because any politically palatable number would not be enough to turn the tide, much less create stability and security. Dunford said that the US must support the Afghan forces as they develop the capabilities.
“We are taking a regional approach to this….”