Defense Secretary Mattis: “We Are Not Winning the War in Afghanistan”

Will Porter – June 13, 2017

Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan in Congressional testimony on Tuesday, vowing to offer a new strategy to lawmakers this summer that will call for the deployment thousands of additional troops to the country.

“We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we will correct this as soon as possible,” Mattis said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, adding his view that the Taliban were currently “surging,” a development he said he wanted to address.

Mattis’ remarks underscore what some American commanders see as a grinding stalemate in the Afghan conflict, the longest-running war in American history, now in its seventeenth year.

In mid-May, the Pentagon was expected to present a series of options to the White House for how to proceed in the conflict, but an official announcement has not been made. While the plans varied, each would deploy somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 new soldiers to Afghanistan.