Trump Reportedly To Allow Pentagon To Set Troop Levels In Afghanistan

Claudine Rigal
Juin 25, 2017

"The regime's nuclear weapons programme is a clear and present danger to all, and the regime's provocative actions, manifestly illegal under global law, have not abated despite United Nations' censure and sanctions". Still, the Trump administration insists on "rebuilding" the US armed forces.

Dunford's warning was specifically focused on the United States military's ability to project its power anywhere in the world, something he said was critical to deterring adversaries and reassuring allies that the USA can meet its alliance commitments.

Congress has "sidelined itself from its active constitutional oversight role", Mattis said.

Mattis said that despite budget limitations this year, "real growth" will come in 2019 and 2023 with a program that OMB has in the works and that President Trump supports.

His comments come a day after the Pentagon identified the three USA soldiers killed by an Afghan soldier over the weekend in Nangarhar province in the eastern part of the country.

Alongside Mattis, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated to the panel that although a war with North Korea would have casualties "unlike anything we've seen", the USA and its allies would be assured of victory. He's appearing before the committee with Mattis.

Congress is considering slapping Russian Federation with more sanctions in retaliation for Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Mattis told Congress that the U.S is "not winning in Afghanistan right now", and the enemy is surging.

He said limits on military spending - effected in the Obama era and known as sequestration - have left troops at greater risk and blocked important new programmes, even though the defence budget is already greater than that of the next seven countries combined. Judging by Sen. John McCain's (R-Arizona) line of questioning to Defense Secretary James Mattis at Tuesday's Armed Services Committee hearing, however, it seems both men recognize the White House's current approach - or lack thereof - isn't working.

When will Congress approve another round of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC)?

Previous defense secretaries, he noted, have warned Congress of the erosion of capabilities sequestration would bring. He said the department "currently has more infrastructure capacity than required for operations".

US reengagement under the Trump administration is a departure from the Obama White House's efforts to draw down the war.

Dunford said Beijing and Moscow were specifically investing in anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-ship ballistic missiles and electronic warfare capabilities, assets he said are created to prevent USA military forces from projecting power around the globe. But lawmakers have refused to go along. Military installations are prized possessions in congressional districts.

Giving more authority to the Pentagon allows military leaders more latitude in planning and conducting operations.

Lawmakers have been considering slapping Russian Federation with more sanctions in retaliation for Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

But Mattis still identified Russian Federation as a threat, along with China, Iran and terrorist organizations.

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