Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., scolded Pentagon and Trump administration officials for lacking a strategy for victory in Afghanistan – brushing off a vow by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to have a plan ready next month.
Mattis and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Armed Services Committee on Tuesday to support the Pentagon's $639 billion defense budget proposed for 2018 – including a $574.5 billion base budget and $64.6 billion to fund overseas contingency operations, Military.com reported.
"Everybody agrees that's not enough," McCain said, Axios reported.
He also asked why there was still no strategy for winning in Afghanistan.
"We just lost three brave Americans," McCain said, Stars and Stripes reported.
"We're now six months into [President Donald Trump's] administration, we still haven't got a strategy for Afghanistan."
"Let's not ask these families to sacrifice any further without a strategy, which we can then take and implement and help you," he pleaded. "I'm fighting as hard as I can to increase defense spending. It's hard when we have no strategy to pursue."
Mattis told the panel the strategy would be ready soon.
"I believe by mid-July we will be able to brief you in detail," Mattis said, Stars and Stripes reported. "We are scrambling to put it together."
"We recognize the need for urgency, and your criticism is fair, sir," he added, The Hill reported.
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