11 July 2017

News Report: This Hotbed of Terrorism 'Poses a Threat for Post-Soviet Asia, China'

The United States is currently losing the war in Afghanistan due to its lack of a clear strategy, chairman of the Armed Services Committee Senator John McCain said.

McCain was among a group of US congressmen who recently visited Afghanistan where Washington has been conducting a military operation for 16 years.

"We have no strategy. And we are losing. When you're not winning, you're losing. And the ANA, the Afghan National Army, is taking unacceptable losses," McCain told CBS news channel.

According to the senator, the reason is the lack of a clear strategy due to the "disarray" in Washington.

Earlier, McCain already said that the US has no strategy to end the stalemate in Afghanistan.

"Defense Secretary Mattis testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that we are not winning in Afghanistan. And yet, six months into the new administration, it still has not delivered a strategy," the Arizona Republican said in a statement in June.

He also urged Congress to play a "greater role" in developing a "strategy of success."

Currently, the Department of Defense is working on a new a new strategy on the actions in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, it was reported that the Donald Trump administration limited the number of troops the Pentagon is allowed to send to Afghanistan to 3,900. 

In an interview with Sputnik Radio, Nikita Mendkovich, head of the Eurasian Analytical Club think-tank, suggested that McCain’s statement is a continuation of the internal political struggle in Washington.

"This is the logic of the American political struggle. Of course, it would be more reasonable to blame [former presidents] George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama for this failure. But who would care about them? [Donald] Trump is president," Mendkovich said.

At the same time, according to the expert, McCain is right.

"The US failed to stabilize the region, despite its initial statements. In this regard, McCain is right. It is really the result of the lack of a clear and well-developed strategy for a long time. The approaches they used were not efficient enough. After Washington decreased the number of troops in Afghanistan the situation started getting out of control," the expert said.

He pointed out that today Afghanistan is again vulnerable to the spread of terrorism.

"What is more, this poses a threat for neighboring regions, including for post-Soviet Central Asia and West China. Due to the lack of a strategy and a clear plan on de-escalation, the US can’t make it work," Mendkovich concluded.

The US and its allies launched a military operation in Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The mission ended on December 28, 2014. On January 1, 2015, NATO announced its new mission in the country, called Resolute Support, to train and assist the Afghan security forces. More than 8,400 US troops remain in Afghanistan with an additional 5,000 NATO forces. On June 15, US media reported that the Pentagon plans to send another 4,000 troops to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has been experiencing significant political, social and security-related instability for decades, as terrorist organizations, including Daesh and the Taliban, continue to stage attacks against civilian and military targets.

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.