Mattis Suggests Sticking With Iran Nuclear Deal

Pakistan FM Khawaja Asif meets US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington on Thursday

"I don't think you've heard the last of it", he said, while speaking at the UN General Assembly in NY.

"We want to be your partners".

Indeed, several Republican lawmakers have voiced skepticism over the president's decertification strategy, including the GOP chairmen of the Senate and House foreign relations committees, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee and Rep. Ed Royce of California, as well as Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Under the Obama administration, the Taliban needed to be within a certain distance of USA troops before striking.

"No decision has been made but I anticipate one would be made soon and we need to get certain information to make the right decision", said Mr Mattis.

"We must always remember we are in Afghanistan to make America safer and to ensure South Asia can not be used to plot transnational attacks against the USA homeland or our partners and allies", he said.

The only other detail Mattis and Gen. Joe Dunford offered at the committee session is that the escalation, at present, is estimated to cost over $1 billion more per year, bringing the annual Afghan War cost up to around $12.5 billion. The more than 3,000 additional USA troops going to Afghanistan will be focused primarily on providing training and advisory support to the Afghan security forces.

Even with about 11,000 troops in Afghanistan, that's still well below of the peak during the surge in August 2010 when there were about 100,000 service members in Afghanistan. The combined United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troop contingent now in the country is about 13,500. More than 2,000 USA troops have been killed and more than 20,000 injured in the war.

McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, declared that it was "bizarre" that Mattis and Dunford did not submit written testimony before the hearing started. "But I'd rather not say the specific capabilities, the specific numbers". "I pledge the Department of Defense will be fully responsive to your requirement to be kept appraised of current and planned operations".




Mattis said Tuesday at hearings before the House and Senate that the White House had given him new authority to change the rules of engagement, which he has already made use of by letting USA troops fire on the Taliban regardless of physical proximity, Military Times reports.

President Trump announced a new Afghan strategy on 21 August that involves sending more than 3,000 additional USA troops as advisers to the Afghan military, and Sen.

Mattis noted that while he believes it is in the best interest of the U.S.to abide by the nuclear deal, the administration is "very alert" to any "cheating" by the Iranians.

Both officials were testifying at the US Senate Armed Services Committee on the US's strategy in Afghanistan+.

"Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don't think you've heard the last of it", Trump added.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Iran deal, most recently during his address to the United Nations General Assembly last month. However, this was after McCain raised growing concerns over the disconnect between Congress and the Pentagon.

Pakistan has been trying to hector the current administration, as it has done with previous U.S. dispensations, but thus far at least, Trump's mandarins and generals have not blinked.

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