‘This is Totally Unacceptable’: Pentagon Leaders Pressed for More Details About Afghan War Plan by Dan Lamothe – Washington Post
The Pentagon’s top leaders defended the Trump administration’s new strategy for Afghanistan in detail Tuesday, saying that it will last as long as is needed and includes provisions under which U.S. troops will be placed alongside Afghan troops at lower levels of command to provide them with better coalition air support.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the strategy in separate hearings before the Senate and House armed services committee as an effort to win, rather than not lose, a conflict that began 16 years ago. They faced skeptical lawmakers, including committee chairman John McCain (R.-Ariz.), who lambasted a lack of transparency by the administration about its plans.
“In the six weeks since the president made his announcement, this committee and the Congress, more broadly, still does not know many of the crucial details of this strategy,” McCain said. “This is totally unacceptable. I repeat: This is totally unacceptable.”
The hearings mark the first time that Mattis and Dunford have elaborated in great detail on what they call President Trump’s “South Asia Strategy.” Trump announced Aug. 21 that he would continue U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan and send a few thousand more troops, even though his initial instinct told him not to do so…