North Korea 'most urgent' threat to security - Mattis

North Korea 'most urgent' threat to security - Mattis

Mattis was also a bit more circumspect about how badly the Afghan War is going, amid talk by other Pentagon officials of the conflict being a "stalemate", admitting in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee that "we are not winning in Afghanistan". Yet Republican lawmakers are pressing for upward of $30 billion more to be added to the budget. He said Mattis can't expect Congress to fulfill his request for a funding increase and budget stability "if you don't give us a strategy".

McCain mentioned the "three courageous Americans" who were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, when an Afghan soldier gunned them down.

"I hope you understand that I am not criticizing you, but there are problems within this administration", Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn McCainMattis: Afghanistan strategy coming in mid-July McCain strikes back as Trump's chief critic Cindy McCain to get role in Trump State Department: report MORE (R-Ariz.) told Mattis at a hearing.

This comes as Lisa Curtis, Senior Director for South and Central Asia in the White, said last week that President Donald Trump administration's Afghanistan policy will be finalized in the near future as she reaffirmed Washington's continued support to Afghanistan.

On May 19, Mattis told a Pentagon news conference, "If this goes to a military solution, it's going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale".

Outer space, long considered a sanctuary, is now contested, he said adding that this creates the need to develop capabilities and capacities for more resilient satellites designed to withstand persistent kinetic and non- kinetic attack.

Mattis proposed a new round of base closings starting in 2021. He says that outlook won't change even if the service branches grow in size.

Media reports have said Mattis is considering asking for 3,000 to 5,000 additional United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops, but the defense chief has said little on the matter.

But military installations are prized possessions in congressional districts.

"We are not winning in Afghanistan right now".

Responding to another question, Mattis hoped that the Afghan government with worldwide help will be able to handle the violence and drive it down to a level that local security forces can handle it.

The Pentagon is now conducting a broader military review involving both Afghanistan and Pakistan, so a decision on exactly how many additional troops might not come for several more weeks, defense officials have said in recent days.

Trump has sided with Qatar's antagonists, calling on the Gulf state to stop "the funding of terrorism". There are presently just under 10,000 US service members in the Asian nation.

John Nicholson, the top United States commander in Afghanistan, told Congress that thousands of more troops were needed in part because outside powers have increased their meddling in Afghanistan in the past year, making it tougher for the US-backed government in Kabul to quell the violence.

"They want to keep us from getting into the area", Dunford told the committee, adding "this is both the case of Russian Federation, with regard to our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliances, and China, with regard to meeting our commitments in the Pacific".

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