US not winning in Afghanistan, defense chief Mattis says

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 17:23:50-04

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) -  A new strategy for Afghanistan will soon be released.

That's is according to Defense Secretary James Mattis who met with the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, told Mattis that he is frustrated with the amount of time it's taking for the administration to unveil its plan. "We're going to start getting more vocal in our criticism of not having a strategy for Afghanistan. Do you agree we're not winning in Afghanistan?" McCain asked Mattis. 

"Sir, I understand the urgency, I understand it is my responsibility. We are not winning in Afghanistan right now and we will correct this as soon as possible.  I believe the three things we are asking for stand on their own merit. However,  if we look more broadly at the protection of the country but in no way does that relief me of the need to deliver that strategy to you, sir,” Mattis said.

McCain said that the nation needs an overall plan in Afghanistan. 

"I thank you, general, and I understand very well, as do members of this committee that some of this is beyond your control. But at some point we have to say 'look, Congress and the American people owe... Congress owes the American people a strategy that will then lead to success in Afghanistan," McCain said. 

Three U.S. soldiers were killed during a military operation in the Nangarhar Province this past weekend. The three men belonged to the 101st Airborne Division and were all in their 20s.

Last month the Pentagon said it was thinking about sending more soldiers to Afghanistan. But Congress has yet to see the plan.

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