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US military posture in Afghanistan in regional context: Mattis

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

America's military posture in is part of a regional context in South and to ensure the war-torn country does not become an "ungoverned space" from which the US can be targeted, Defence Secretary James Mattis said today.

Testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defence, Mattis said the revised strategy for would be presented to the soon.

His testimony comes after President Donald Trump authorised him to "manage" US troop levels in amidst a surge in attacks in the war-ravaged country.

"The delegation of this authority, consistent with the authority granted me two months for Iraq and Syria does not, at this time, change the troop numbers for Afghanistan," Mattis said.

The US defence secretary said that though the "overall mission" in Afghanistan is to train the forces so that terrorists find no haven there, "Our military posture is part of a larger regional context in South "

He said Trump administration's primary national interest and the international interest in Afghanistan is ensuring it does not become an "ungoverned space" from which attacks can again be launched against the US, other nations or the people.

"In this regard our forces are conducting partnered counter-terrorism operations and we are supporting the NATO- led's mission so in the future the people can defend themselves," he said.

A day earlier, Mattis told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defence that the US is considering issues from India, Pakistan and other nations in the region as part of its Afghan review.

"We would have to change the priorities, we would have to put it in a more regional construct. By regional construct, I mean we consider things, issues from India and Pakistan all the way over to Iran because they're the bordering nations," he said.

"And ignoring those means you put in a strategy that has not taken into account some of the most fundamental factors that would impact on its success or failure," Mattis said.

"We change the way we fight, we change the regional construct and we change our approach to how we deal with this government," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 15 2017. 22:57 IST