Pentagon to get authority for Afghanistan troop levels
Pentagon to get authority for Afghanistan troop levels
14 June, 2017, 07:21
The Pentagon is expected to soon announce that Defense Secretary James Mattis will now have authority to make decisions about how many USA troops are deployed to Afghanistan without first having to get formal agreement from the White House, according to a United States official familiar with the plan.
It's not immediately clear how the decision will impact force levels, and the White House and the Pentagon have not officially commented on the policy.
Mattis' remarks came months after the Trump administration promised a new strategy for the conflict, and weeks after press reports circulated quoting unnamed USA officials as saying a troop surge and widening military authorities were both under debate. Trump gave Mattis similar authority in Iraq and Syria.
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.
Currently, the US has 9,000 troops in Afghanistan.
USA military commanders, who saw fragile security gains eroded under Obama-era troop drawdowns, have been pushing for a new strategy that could see thousands of additional soldiers deploy to Afghanistan to help train and advise beleaguered Afghan partners.
The head of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, and the head of the U.S. military command overseeing the Middle East, Gen. Joseph Votel, have endorsed the deployment of "several thousand" additional North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops to train Afghan security forces and break the conflict from a state of "stalemate".
US Army General John Nicholson, the top American commander in Afghanistan, said recently that several thousand troops should be added to the roughly 8,400 already stationed in the war-ravaged country to support the Afghan security forces against Taliban militants.
"We recognize the need for urgency", Mattis replied, who told lawmakers he is now crafting a new military strategy that he will reveal by mid-July.
"We are not winning in Afghanistan right now", said Mattis here at a congressional hearing.
McCain rued that despite all the sacrifices made by USA soldiers, Afghanistan is still a nation at war.
Mattis acknowledged the reality on the ground.
He added: "We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. We will correct this as soon as possible", he said.
Since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan in 2001, over 2,300 American troops have lost their lives, with another 17,000 wounded.
McCain, however, listed the names of the three 101st Airborne Division soldiers who were killed Saturday and said, "Let's not ask these families to sacrifice any further without a strategy which we can then take and implement and help you".
A truck bombing in the heart of the capital Kabul killed more than 150 people on May 31.
USA troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 today, and there are another 5,000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, who mainly serve in a training and advisory capacity.
On Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey testified for three hours publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee . The reason: Comey testified that he did so to manipulate the situation and force the appointment of a Special Counsel.
Under former President Barack Obama, the USA would surely have signed onto such a statement, and it would've made little news. The statement highlighted that combating climate change "is not only a necessity but also an opportunity for growth".
Rafael Nadal eased past 17th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open . The second set followed in much the same fashion, the pair trading blows as Murray began to creep ahead.
The 20-year old has recently conducted a few workouts with a number of the teams holding the top picks in the draft. Top NBA Draft prospect Josh Jackson canceled his Monday workout with the Boston Celtics , per ESPN sources .
But Trump, who has the same protections as all citizens, could invoke his right against self-incrimination. Mark Rozell, dean of George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government, agreed.
Prosecutors are expected to brand the singer as a flight risk, asking that any bond that's set should be secured with property. Jones was arrested Monday night at O'Hare Airport and appeared in federal court Tuesday.
Pinkston said the trip was likely part of an effort by the North's foreign ministry to ease tensions with Washington . According to Rodman , the objective of this trip is "to open a door" between the United States and North Korea .
Police in New Hampshire are responding to an officer-involved shooting at the New Hampshire state liquor store in Hampton. The two State Troopers have been placed on paid administrative leave, and their names are being withheld.
Reason for detention: Gomes, a former English teacher in South Korea, was accused of entering North Korea illegally from China. Warmbier visited North Korea as part of a group tour in 2016, and was about to take a flight home when he was arrested.
She said such a move would "destroy any shred of trust in the president's judgment that remains over here". Rosenstein said that while it depends on the circumstances, "I think the general answer is no".
That will require LeBron James to do something that may hurt team success in the short-term, but pay off over time. Draymond Green stayed on the court in a game that featured three technicals on one play 3:08 before halftime.
Tapwrit Wins Belmont Stakes
So, that leaves Irish War Cry as the favorite for the Belmont Stakes. "We were hoping he had enough when it came crunch time". Instead of seceding from the Union, the state of California was threatening to annex NY at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Uber CEO to take leave, leadership team to run company
A company can be aggressive yet have strong values, said Joseph Holt, a business ethics professor at the University of Notre Dame. He also says he's responsible for the company's current situation and needs to become a better leader.
Minnesota cop's fatal shooting of black motorist not justified
Gray reminded the jury of the officer's testimony that Castile looked like a man who robbed a convenience store four days earlier. Defense attorneys highlighted inconsistencies in Reynolds' statements to investigators to try to raise doubts about her honesty.
Rodman says he's going to NKorea to open a door
Before his detainment in North Korea, Warmbier was entertaining a future in the finance industry, his parents have said. North Korea is now detaining four Americans in labour camps - something Mr Rodman has spoken about in the past.
Toni Nadal hails 'brilliant' Rafa
I am enjoying every week, and I want to continue and I'm going to try to keep working hard to try to enjoy more lovely weeks". Nadal opened the match winning his first four points on serve.
Jury deliberating in Cosby trial
The jury in the Bill Cosby trial is putting in a long day's work as it considers sexual assault charges against the comedian. On Monday, he urged the jury to reject the idea that Constand's sexual encounter with Cosby had been consensual.
Police shot, injured attacker near Notre Dame Cathedral
A man is shot after trying to attack police during a potential terror attack outside one of Paris' major landmarks. Hundreds were holed up inside the cathedral , and photos on social media showed people with their hands in the air.
UBM Plc (UBM) Insider Sells 23442 Shares of Stock
It has outperformed by 0.44% the S&P500. 415.18 million shares or 1.44% more from 409.30 million shares in 2016Q3 were reported. Signia Capital Management Llc decreased Applied Optoelectronics Inc (AAOI) stake by 16.56% reported in 2016Q4 SEC filing.
Theresa May says she'll stick to Brexit timetable
But Corbyn , who won his north London seat, said that Labour would work to build a Britain that "works for the many, not the few". The Conservatives are in talks with the Democratic Unionist Party to form a minority government .
Senate panel to question Sessions on Russia, Comey
Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked if Rosenstein knew of any reason to fire Mueller, the deputy attorney general was curt: "No, sir". But the revelations prompted Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation in March.