Sen. John McCain has followed through on his threat to Trump to take over strategy for the war in Afghanistan by attaching a policy amendment to the NDAA.
America is adrift in Afghanistan. President Obama’s ‘don’t lose’ strategy has put us on a path to achieving the opposite result. Now, nearly seven months into President Trump’s administration, we’ve had no strategy at all as conditions on the ground have steadily worsened. The thousands of Americans putting their lives on the line in Afghanistan deserve better from their commander-in-chief.
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. But we must face facts: we are losing in Afghanistan and time is of the essence if we intend to turn the tide.
That is why, after consulting with some of our nation’s most experienced and respected former military and intelligence officials, I have filed an amendment to the defense authorization bill that outlines the strategy we need to achieve America’s national security interests in Afghanistan and the wider region.
The goal of this strategy is to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a sanctuary for terrorists to plot and conduct attacks against America, our allies, or our interests. To accomplish this goal, we need an integrated civil-military approach to bolster U.S. counterterrorism efforts, strengthen the capability and capacity of the Afghan government and security forces, and intensify diplomatic efforts to facilitate a negotiated peace process in Afghanistan in cooperation with regional partners.
America’s Armed Forces in harm’s way in Afghanistan deserve leadership from Washington worthy of their service and sacrifice. 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.
No one should be surprised that the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated under Trump. Sen. McCain complained about former President Obama’s strategy for eight years, but as even he acknowledges, he disagreed with it, but the military had a strategy.
As for the amendment itself, it is heavily focused on counterterrorism, building up the Afghan forces, and believe it or not, diplomacy.
Trump’s weakness and lack of leadership have created a vacuum in Washington, D.C. that is being filled by people like John McCain. The country is in the midst of historic weakening of the Executive Branch. Congress is stepping in to assume powers that have long been claimed by presidents.
Donald Trump’s clueless administration is being marginalized and shoved out of the way by members of his own party.
Trump wants to be a strong man, but he is helming a presidency that is diminishing by the day.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association