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Afghanistan - Delegation led by Senator John McCain

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A bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators visiting Afghanistan on Tuesday called for a new strategy from the Trump administration to turn the tide against an increasingly strong Taliban insurgency and end the longest war in U.S. history.

The delegation led by Senator John McCain was in Kabul on a regional trip that included two days in neighboring Pakistan.

The visit preceded an expected Trump review later in the month of the strategy for the United States’ longest war, now in its 16th year, a subject that was largely absent from last year’s presidential campaign.

Since the exit of most foreign troops in 2014, Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government has lost ground to a Taliban insurgency in a war that kills and maims thousands of civilians each year and has made Afghanistan the second-ranking country in people seeking refugee status abroad last year, behind Syria.

McCain said in a Kabul press briefing on Tuesday at NATO-coalition headquarters that "none of us would say that we are on a course to success here in Afghanistan".

"That needs to change and quickly," added McCain, a sharp critic of Trump within their Republican party.

McCain was accompanied by U.S. senators Lindsey Graham, Elizabeth Warren, Sheldon Whitehouse and David Perdue on the regional tour.

Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said she came to get "the view on the ground about what is happening" in Afghanistan.

"We need a strategy in the United States that defines our role in Afghanistan, defines our objective and explains how we can get from here to there," Warren said.

U.S. officials have told Reuters that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will present Trump with strategic options for Afghanistan by mid-July.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-usa-idUSKBN19P2HI?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social

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