The U.S Senate Committee on Armed Services on Wednesday criticized President Barack Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan, saying the combat troop withdrawal from the country led to a deterioration of security.
The Senate Committee also heard that president-elect Donald Trump should draw up a new strategy to eliminate insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan.
Experts from the Institute for The Study of War , New American Security (CNAS), and Brookings Institute, on Wednesday briefed the U.S Senate about security threats the world is facing.
General John M. Keane, Chairman, Institute For The Study Of War And Former Vice Chief Of Staff Of The Army, told the committee that the new administration must call for a political and security assessment and face the harsh realities of possibly squandering 15 years of US combat in Afghanistan in a war not winnable.
“What’s required is a new strategy with a commitment to force the elimination of sanctuaries in Pakistan and a commitment to provide to the ANSFs the enablers they need to turn the momentum: intelligence, attack helicopters, strike fighter support, medevac, anti-IED capabilities, much needed logistics and increased CT Special Operations Forces,” he said.
Talking on the Pakistan’s backing of the Taliban, Keane said Pakistan has been providing logistical, financial and training support to the Taliban, something the U.S senators believe has overshadowed efforts to restore sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
At the session, the experts discussed the prospects of peace in Afghanistan and Taliban insurgency.
They said Obama, instead of focusing on the defeat of the Taliban, preferred to bring about an end to the U.S combat role in the country.
Executive Vice President and Director Of Studies at the Center For A New American Security, Shawn Brimley, said: “A priority for the next administration must be to craft a more sustainable long-term counterterrorism strategy, and a major component of such a review should be an assessment of the impact on U.S. special operations forces.”
But Senator John McCain, chairman of the committee, noted Trump will have little time to set new U.S strategic priorities.
“When our next president is inaugurated just six weeks from now, he will look out on a world on fire and have several consequential strategic choices to make: how to address Russian or Chinese aggression; how to confront threats from North Korea; whether to alter our relationship with Iran; how to improve and quicken our campaign against ISIL (Daesh); how to counter the instability radiating from Syria; how to ensure victory in the war in Afghanistan,” McCain said.
“Our next president will not have the benefit of time and cautious deliberation to set a new strategic course for the nation. That work begins with a series of decisions that will present themselves immediately on Day One,” he said.
Currently just under 10,000 U.S troops are in Afghanistan in an advise, assist and train capacity.