Biden: “This Is a Tactical Review. We Still Have Options.”
With Trump weighing in on the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Afghanistan this week and new Secretary of Defense James Mattis stepping up defense budget demands, new questions remain about the United States’ strategy for the 15-year war.
In testimony Wednesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis answered questions about the Defense Department’s requests for additional funds and troops in Afghanistan, saying it will be up to Congress to decide on the requests.
“We are looking at our missions, what is it that we need to do over here, what are the solutions and how much money is it going to take to move us forward,” Mattis said during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
The lawmakers were unable to approve increases in the military budget, but Mattis left open the possibility of more troops, though he seemed resigned to a long-term withdrawal.
“I think what you see on this floor today is a tactical review,” Biden said during his testimony. “We still have options.”
Biden also warned against what he called “mounting momentum” to de-escalate the war against the Taliban and the “shift in focus” that may have led to North Korea’s recent threat to create a “nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.”
“I am increasingly concerned about the commitment in Afghanistan to victory — and the progress of the Taliban to recover territory and close in on Kabul,” Biden said.
Watch the full interview above.