Key points of Senate McCain's strategy for Afghanistan

But Mr McCain has grown increasingly impatient.

The United States has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, and Mr Trump has so far resisted the Pentagon's recommendations to send nearly 4,000 more to expand training of Afghan military forces and strengthen U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda, a growing ISIL affiliate and other extremist groups.

USA military and economic support would also be "strictly" conditioned on the Afghan government meeting benchmarks on anti-corruption and other reform efforts.

Erik Prince, founder of the private security company Blackwater, has resurfaced as President Donald Trump mulls over what to do about a conflict that bedeviled his two predecessors in the White House.

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainBrexit leader: People voted for change with Trump, GOP blocking it GOP senator: US-Russia relationship "not good right now" because of Putin Five tough decisions for the GOP on healthcare MORE (R-Ariz.) on Thursday unveiled his long-promised strategy for Afghanistan, saying "America is adrift" in the war-torn nation as the Trump administration spins its wheels. Criticizing the Afghan policy of his predecessor, the President said that he took over a "mess" and that his administration was going to "make it a lot less messy".

He said they need more time to analyze the options, and suggested some of those options include not surging the USA commitment, which amounts to about 10,000 troops right now.

McCain said bluntly, "We are losing in Afghanistan and time is of the essence if we intend to turn the tide". "There are always other options", the secretary said. "We're getting close. We're getting very close, It's a very big decision for me". President Obama's "don't lose" strategy has put the United States on a path to achieving the opposite result, McCain said. "The thousands of Americans putting their lives on the line in Afghanistan deserve better from their commander-in-chief", he said. "Adopting a clear policy and strategy in Afghanistan, backed with the authorities and resources necessary for success, would be a critical step toward restoring that kind of leadership, which has been absent for far too long". But that has been a place - 17 years, our longest war, I read in one of your columns. He pushed the troop surge strategy under President George W. Bush that helped stabilize Iraq in the latter part of the last decade, before the rise of the Islamic State under Mr. Obama sent the country spiraling again.

McCain's strategy, which was issued as an amendment to next fiscal year's defense bill, includes additional US troops for counterterrorism missions, allowing USA advisers to work closer to the front lines with Afghan officers and issues US commanders broader authority to target Taliban insurgents, Islamic State militants and other militias.

Trump has reportedly been so frustrated with the USA direction in Afghanistan that he suggested firing the four-star general overseeing the war. The analysts concluded that the Afghan government and insurgents are at a stalemate, the number of "security incidents" in the country is spiking, and the government's revenue is tumbling.

Opiate production in the country also doubled between 2015 and 2016, the inspector general reported.

All told, the USA has obligated $714 billion for war fighting and reconstruction, the inspector general said.

Vanessa Coleman

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