Trump has Delegated Decisions on Afghan Troop Levels: Mattis

U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis speaks at a press conference at the Australia United States Ministerial Consultations at Gover

U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis speaks at a press conference at the Australia United States Ministerial Consultations at Gover

Earlier, Mattis told lawmakers that he would present Trump with a new U.S. military strategy for Afghanistan by mid-July.

The official said the final decision to give Mattis the power to adjust troop levels actually came during his testimony, at which he said America still is "not winning" in Afghanistan.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, who led the USA war effort in Afghanistan for 19 months beginning in fall 2003, said that he is not sure that the potential troop surge "is as big of a deal as it is being made out to be", and that it is unlikely that Mattis will be able to deploy an unlimited number of troops without any supervision by the White House.

He said the administration is working on a broad Afghanistan strategy, and that he intends to set U.S. troop levels consistent with Trump's "strategic direction and his foreign policy". President Trump still has not been presented with an Afghanistan strategy.

USA media have reported that the Defense Secretary will recommend sending another 3,000-5,000 US troops to break what he has called a "stalemate" between US -backed government forces and the Taliban.

"I've been given some carte blanche to - to draw up a strategy or a number that's out of step with the strategy", Mattis said.

Currently, there are about 8,400 USA troops and another 5,000 forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the ground in Afghanistan to train and assist the Afghan forces against the Taliban, and conduct counter-terrorism missions.

Apple demands cut of Chinese app 'tips'
We've all been there; you download an app, use it regularly, and find yourself frequently prompted to write an App Store review. The new app review guidelines stipulate that developers may no longer create their own pop-ups to ask for a rating.

"At one point, when we reduced our forces there, I believe in what was probably in hindsight a misguided application of our forces, we restricted them from using our air support, with some idea we would wean them off the need for it", Mattis said.

Prior to the White House decision, Mattis had warned that the Taliban was surging - having claimed a series of deadly attacks, including against Afghan military bases and positions - and that America still was "not winning" in the country almost 16 years after the US-led invasion there.

USA generals have recently recommended adding as many as 5,000 troops.

That decision, however, had been stalled by a broader review by the Trump administration of Afghan policy and a push for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to contribute more troops.

Mattis later described winning in Afghanistan as forming a central government that, with global help, "will be able to handle the violence". Additional conversations must be had if the Pentagon decides it needs a few thousand more additional troops in coming years, he said.

"Does Mattis do something different, or fall into the trap of the last eight years of doing the same thing but doing it better?"

The new troops, if deployed, would "provide more fire and air support to the Afghans. We will correct this as soon as possible", he said.

Recommended News

  • CVS wants to delay Marsh sale amid new buyer agreement

    CVS wants to delay Marsh sale amid new buyer agreement

    Objections to the winning bids will be heard in the DE bankruptcy court system prior to a final sale approval hearing on Thursday. One possible obstacle to the sale is an objection by CVS Health, which purchased the pharmacy accounts from Marsh in April.

    Clinging on to her job, Britain's May appoints new ministers

    Many Labour and Lib Dem voters will be frustrated that they're less socially liberal than the Conservative Party. The misjudgment by the Conservative Party, moreover, is the second one in just two years.
    House passes bill to roll back regulations on big banks

    House passes bill to roll back regulations on big banks

    Financial stocks soared after the vote, which some say could push Republicans in the Senate to pursue more aggressive reform. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) has previously described rollbacks to the Dodd-Frank Act as "dangerous".
  • Northam beats Perriello in Democratic primary for Governor

    Northam beats Perriello in Democratic primary for Governor

    By far, the most closely watched races will be between the five candidates running to be Virginia's next governor. Associated Press reporters Ben Finley in Norfolk and Alanna Durkin Richer in Richmond contributed to this report.

    'Dead Woman Walking': Amid Election Fallout, Theresa May Stands On Shaky Ground

    Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K.in which same-sex marriage is illegal. 'I am backing Theresa May , ' he said. DUP leader Arlene Foster told Sky News she would meet May on Tuesday.

    Oil slides as US climate withdrawal compounds glut concerns

    Nigeria and Libya are exempted from curbing output as they seek to restore supplies hurt by internal conflicts. Crude oil prices have been dampened by rising USA output despite Opec production cuts.
  • Oil slips as data points to fast-growing supply

    Oil slips as data points to fast-growing supply

    But those efforts have been blunted by a massive boom in production by US shale operators, who have become much more efficient. Benchmark Brent crude settled 43 cents higher at $48.72 a barrel while US light crude settled up 38 cents to $46.46 a barrel.

    Iran leaders accuse US, Saudis of supporting Tehran attacks

    Documents and equipment "for carrying out terrorist operations" were also seized, the ministry said in a statement. We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.

    Luke Bryan opening Game 6 broadcast from honky-tonk roof

    Nashville Predators left wing Colin Wilson skates a drill during practice Sunday, June 4, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. The opening faceoff was delayed a few seconds after someone threw a catfish onto the ice - a Predators thing.
  • Hawaii Rebuffs Trump, Adopts Paris Agreement Goals Anyway

    In the op-ed, the mayors address Pittsburgh's history as an industrial and polluted city continuing to make stride toward cleaning up its air.

    Harry Kane cherishes 'special' England equaliser against Scotland

    Harry Kane has set his sights on becoming the permanent England captain after his heroics against Scotland . If you manage to score in stoppage time to take something from it, you go away from any game fairly happy.

    Church bus crashes in Atlanta area; several injured

    A church bus carrying high school students and adults has crashed in the Atlanta area, leaving several people injured. Reporters on scene said people were loaded onto stretchers and one person was trapped in the bus.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.