U.S. will 'firmly address' Pak's role in Afghanistan: Mattis

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

The US Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford are slated to testify on Afghanistan late Tuesday night to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Trump, while announcing the new strategy for Afghanistan, had criticised Pakistan for providing safe havens to terror outfits.

Mattis added that he would be travelling to Islamabad soon, but did not give more details.

"We want to be your partners", McCain said. Trump has trashed the worldwide accord, a cornerstone of Barack Obama's presidency, as the worst agreement ever negotiated by the United States and signaled he may abandon the agreement. "And that would be the way, as we take the fight to the enemy, we convince the Taliban, 'You're not going to win this by killing'". The Pentagon is adding more Special Operations troops for that objective, Mattis said, as well as more USA advisers so that when a conventional Afghan unit carries out offensive operations, they will have them.

"There have been certainly some areas where they were not temporarily in that regard, but overall our intelligence community believes that they have been compliant and the IAEA also says so", Mattis said during a House of Representatives hearing, using an acronym for the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Mattis visited Afghanistan last week with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg to reaffirm United States commitment as government forces struggle to beat back the Taliban, which has been on the offensive since US-led combat forces withdrew at the end of 2014.

He also travelled to the war-torn Afghanistan after India visit. The increase will expand training of the Afghan military and beef up USA counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida and a growing Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, as well as the Taliban and other extremist groups.

To accommodate the shift, the Pentagon will deploy 3,000 additional troops in the coming months to join Afghan units that do not now have usa advisers. "If not, I'll go back in" to ask Trump for additional troops.

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Such certification is needed by USA law every 90 days in order for the Congress to continue to withhold nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, itself a U.S. commitment under the JCPOA.

Trump has repeatedly said that he's inclined not to certify Iranian compliance after having twice found the country compliant at earlier deadlines.

"We're not at a point where we can bring a successful political solution to the war", he said. Denying certification could lead the U.S.to reintroduce sanctions, which in turn could lead Iran to walk away from the deal or restart previously curtailed nuclear activities.

"It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups", he said.

But Mattis said it's in the national security interest of the United States to stay a part of the global accord.

Trump is weighing whether the deal serves USA security interests as he faces a mid-October deadline for certifying that Iran is complying with the pact, a decision that could sink an agreement strongly supported by the other powers that negotiated it.

"I believe at this point in time, absent indication to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with", he said.

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