McCain issues his own Afghan strategy

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told a press briefing on Thursday that the Afghan Policy Review was still underway and that there had been a lot of conversations and negotiations with the President's national security team that also involved US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

McCain said bluntly, "We are losing in Afghanistan and time is of the essence if we intend to turn the tide". "The thousands of Americans putting their lives on the line in Afghanistan deserve better from their commander-in-chief", he said.

Mr McCain said the United States needed to put strict conditions on continued assistance to Afghanistan.

US Senator John McCain introduced on Thursday an amendment that details a strategy to resolve the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, additional U.S. Marines have been dispatched to Afghanistan to strengthen its forces in the violent Helmand province where Taliban has increased their attacks.

It is in the national security interest of the United States that Afghanistan never again serve as a sanctuary for worldwide terrorists to conduct attacks against the United States, its allies, or its core interests.

Frustrated by his options, Trump has withheld approval of a long-delayed Afghanistan war strategy as he searches for a plan that will allow American forces to pull out once and for all.

"We are looking at this as not just a solution to Afghanistan, but also a broader concern that incorporates India and Pakistan as well as a regional solution", the spokesperson said adding that plan was not ready yet that will be rolled out by the White House.

McCain, however, has grown increasingly impatient. During a committee hearing in June, he told defence secretary James Mattis that he had been confident the Trump administration would deliver a plan for Afghanistan within a month or two after taking office.

Mr. McCain said he's been disappointed by both President Obama and Mr. Trump, and criticized them both Thursday.

Right now, there are about 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan on a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban and conducting counterterrorism missions against groups such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

McCain's plan outlines short- and long-term goals that envision a significant USA presence on the ground - an approach "to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a sanctuary for terrorists to plot and conduct attacks against America".

"Adopting a new strategy for achieving America's national security interests in Afghanistan is a decision of the highest importance, one that should be subjected to rigorous scrutiny and debate within our government", he said. And McCain proposes longer-term support that will allow the Afghans to develop and expand their own intelligence, logistics, special forces and air lift operations.

John McCain unveiled his own strategy for the war-torn country - offering a plan that provides US military commanders with broader authority to pursue militant forces.

McCain's approach envisions better harnessing USA military and civil strengths in pursuit of a negotiated peace process that leads to Afghan political reconciliation and eventual diplomatic resolution to the war. The relationship dates to the 1980s Afghan war against the Soviet Union, which had sent in more than 100,000 soldiers to support the pro-communist Afghan government.

Vanessa Coleman