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WASHINGTON — The chairman of the influential Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday he'll hold up President Donald Trump's nominees for key Defense Department posts until the administration delivers details about its new strategy for the war in Afghanistan.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said his committee needs the particulars in order to properly outfit the U.S. armed forces with training and equipment.
Information - Reporters
"If we don't get the information we need, we can't do that," he told reporters.
McCain said the Trump administration acts as though Congress isn't a co-equal branch of government, "and that they don't have to respond to what the Constitution says."
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Trump in August outlined in broad strokes his plan for Afghanistan, declaring that American troops would "fight to win" by attacking enemies, "crushing" al-Qaida and preventing terrorist attacks against Americans. As part of the plan, the Pentagon is boosting troop numbers by about 3,500, augmenting the roughly 11,000 Americans currently stationed there.
Committee - McCain - Increase - Strength - Tide
What remains unclear to the committee, according to McCain, is how this modest increase in troop strength can turn the tide in Afghanistan when that goal couldn't be achieved with tens of thousands of U.S. forces.
Trump also said the U.S. would shift from a "time-based" approach, instead linking its assistance to results and to cooperation from the beleaguered Afghan government, Pakistan and others....
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