McChrystal: Trump responsible for Mattis's decision to send troops to Afghanistan

McChrystal: Trump responsible for Mattis's decision to send troops to Afghanistan

McChrystal: Trump responsible for Mattis's decision to send troops to Afghanistan

The 16-year USA military involvement in Afghanistan is the longest war in the nation's history, and all indications are that it will be getting longer. A small minority will directly participate in counter-terrorism operations against Taliban and ISIS fighters. More than 2,300 Americans have been killed so far and 17,000 more wounded.

We are making progress in degrading these groups, but their defeat will come about only by giving our men and women on the ground the support and the authorities they need to win.

The bulk of the additional troops will train and advise Afghan forces, according to the administration official, who wasn't authorized to discuss details of the decision publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

For years after the initial USA -led invasion, former Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), the leading non-interventionist in Congress, continually noted that no war had been constitutionally authorized within Afghanistan - only the use of force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee's Republican chairman, blasted Mattis for the administration's failure to present an overarching strategy for Afghanistan.

ABC News looks at the change and whether anything will change in the USA military posture in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The current number stands at approximately 8,400.

The US now has around 8,400 soldiers in Afghanistan with about another 5,000 troops from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. "But I don't think that takes away President Trump's responsibility for that decision".

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Mattis has repeatedly stressed that increasing the number of US troops in Afghanistan would take place within a broader, long-term strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan.

American officials have said the United States military needs a bigger role in Afghanistan to push the Taliban militant group back to the negotiating table. "By regional construct, I mean we consider things, issues from India and Pakistan all the way over to Iran because they're the bordering nations", he said.

"We change the way we fight, we change the regional construct and we change our approach to how we deal with this government", he said.

"Reconciliation" with the Taliban remains the goal, Mattis said."We're not looking at a purely military strategy", he said.

Mattis signaled his intention to brief lawmakers on a new strategy by mid-July. "What is the USA objective, what's the USA mission and why are we bombing anybody in Afghanistan?"

At a congressional hearing on Thursday, Mattis stressed that President Trump had not "fully delegated all authority to me, he maintains strategic oversight" for Afghanistan.

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