USA will 'firmly address' Pak's role in Afghanistan: Mattis

USA will 'firmly address' Pak's role in Afghanistan: Mattis

General John Nicholson, the top USA commander in Afghanistan, "is holding the line", Mattis assured the senators.

Mr Mattis, a retired general, said he had spoken with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the issue three times in the last ten days as they tried to ensure that it was "an office we can actually deal with" and not just a physical presence. More specifically, Mattis plans to visit Islamabad soon, he said.

The Senate Armed Services Committee "still does not know numerous crucial details of the strategy".

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, says that decertification is an "internal" U.S. matter and that a Republican Congress may well decide to preserve the accord, regardless of the president's actions.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Marine Gen. Joseph 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.

"The fighting will continue to be carried out by our Afghan partners, but our advisers will accompany tactical units to advise and assist and bring North Atlantic Treaty Organisation fire support to bear when needed", Mattis testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The hearings mark the first time that Mattis and Dunford have elaborated in great detail on what they call President Donald Trump's "South Asia Strategy". We must be well-informed. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, took both to task for failing to provide information to Congress about the Trump administration's new strategy in Afghanistan.

Virat Kohli's Message For The Indian Football Team Ahead Of Mega Tournament
Matos further stated that the India U-17s, on their day, could put the best of teams under pressure and fight for a win. Meanwhile, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli wished the players good luck for the U-17 World Cup.

Mattis visited Afghanistan last week with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg to reaffirm USA commitment as government forces struggle to beat back the Taliban, which has been on the offensive since US-led combat forces withdrew at the end of 2014. The Pentagon is adding more Special Operations troops for that objective, Mattis said, as well as more USA advisers so that when a conventional Afghan unit carries out offensive operations, they will have them. We must be convinced of the merits of the administration's actions.

"A political settlement in Afghanistan is only possible if the Taliban reject support or conduct of terrorism", he said.

"I think it's clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups", Dunford told the Committee.

Sen. Angus King of ME asked Mattis during a congressional hearing if he thinks it's in the national security interests of the United States to stay a part of the worldwide accord.

"If we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is in our best interest, then surely we should stay with it", he said.

"I believe., absent indications to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with", Mattis added.

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