A bipartisan group of U.S. senators said that the Trump administration still does not have a clear strategy for bringing in peace in Afghanistan. The congressional delegation visited Afghanistan and Pakistan before a U.S. review of its Afghan war strategy.
"The strongest nation on Earth should be able to win this conflict," Republican Senator John McCain said. "And we are frustrated that this strategy hadn't been articulated yet, to be honest with you.
McCain was in Kabul when he severaly criticized 15 years of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, which, he said, pursued a goal amounting to "don't lose", rather than winning, the Guardian reported.
McCain was accompanied by the Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse, and fellow Republicans Lindsey Graham and David Perdue.
Sharing concerns about the worsened security in Afghanistan since the drawdown of coalition troops in Warren added that without a clear plan, political patience in the U.S. could run out. "We need a strategy in the United States that defines our role in Afghanistan, defines our objective and explains how we're going to get from here to there," she said.
Senators were of the view that diplomacy is the best way in achieving peace in Afghanistan as Afghan conflict cannot be won by military means alone. Therefore, Trump planning to boost the 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan with about 4,000 more, U.S. President is gutting civilian bodies tasked with diplomacy.
"I see a lack of focus that's very unnerving," said Graham, calling the state department "woefully understaffed".
The U.S delegation visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan comes at a critical juncture as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is eagerly waiting for U.S. policy on Afghanistan. Moreover, President Donald Trump is also considering sanctions on Pakistan because of the increasing number of attacks on Afghan soil by the Pakistan-based militants. Washington's new war strategy in Afghanistan also includes the deployment of additional forces in the country which has been grappling with a rising Taliban insurgency.
In Islamabad, McCain has reiterated that Pakistan plays a prominent role in establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan.