Published: Ср, Октября 04, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Mattis says will try to work with Pakistan 'one more time'

Mattis says will try to work with Pakistan 'one more time'

McCain says the Trump administration has failed to inform Congress of the details of the strategy spelled out by Trump.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday the United States should remain in the nuclear deal negotiated during the Obama administration that constrains Iran's ability to build a nuclear arsenal.

"The fighting will continue to be carried out by our Afghan partners", he said, "but our advisers will accompany tactical units to advise and bring North Atlantic Treaty Organisation fire support to bear when needed".

The commitment of US troops to "combat duty" - calling in airstrikes and providing direct tactical advice on the front lines - marks a major shift from the Obama administration's strategy in ending USA troops' combat role in 2013.

Mattis said, "Yes, senator, I do".

About 3,500 more American forces are being sent to Afghanistan as part of Trump's new strategy.

Dunford acknowledged, however, that the war in Afghanistan is now a stalemate.

"Now that the [US] withdrawal is not taking place, and no advances have been made towards a political settlement, there seems to be little utility of Doha's Taliban office", he added. The increase will expand training of the Afghan military and beef up USA counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida and a growing Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, as well as the Taliban and other extremist groups. Mattis has said about 3,000 US troops will join 11,000 American forces and 6,800 additional global troops from allied nations. Trump's tough words about Pakistan, a troubled USA security partner, infuriated Islamabad, which has denied the country provides safe havens for the Taliban.

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During his own address at the UN General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it would be a "great pity" if "rogue newcomers" destroy the worldwide nuclear deal that lifted sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

But U.S. officials and analysts have long said Pakistan tolerates the presence of the Afghan Taliban and the allied Haqqani network, which are leading the insurgency against Afghan and U.S. forces.

Trump has been hinting for months that he's ready to take steps to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal as a crucial October deadline approaches that could decide the fate of the agreement. Denying certification could lead the reintroduce sanctions, which in turn could lead Iran to walk away from the deal or restart previously curtailed nuclear activities.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, lectured Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford at the opening of the hearing.

But Mattis said it's in the national security interest of the United States to stay a part of the worldwide accord.

Speaking at the conservative Hudson Institute in September, Hyten said "the facts are that Iran is operating under the agreements that we signed up for under the [Iran nuclear deal]".

When asked by a lawmaker whether revoking of Pakistan's major non-NATO ally was amongst the options being considered to deal with Islamabad, Mattis said: "I am sure it will be".

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