McCain, Warren, Graham visit troops in Afghanistan for Fourth of July

McCain, Warren, Graham visit troops in Afghanistan for Fourth of July
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain rips Trump for attacks on press NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Meghan McCain says her father regrets opposition to MLK Day MORE (R-Ariz.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Trump is a 'racist bully' Poll: Oprah would outperform Warren, Harris against Trump in California Democrats continue to dismiss positive impacts of tax reform MORE (D-Mass.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDHS chief takes heat over Trump furor Overnight Defense: GOP chair blames Dems for defense budget holdup | FDA, Pentagon to speed approval of battlefield drugs | Mattis calls North Korea situation 'sobering' Bipartisan group to introduce DACA bill in House MORE (R-S.C.) were among the bipartisan group of senators that visited American troops stationed in Afghanistan for the Fourth of July on Tuesday.

McCain led the congressional delegation as the lawmakers met with top government and military leaders in Kabul, The Associated Press reported.

ADVERTISEMENT
“As we celebrate Independence Day, may we show our gratitude and keep in our prayers the brave and selfless patriots serving around the world and their families, who shoulder our burdens every day to protect our freedom and keep us safe from harm," McCain said in a statement.

The visit comes at a time when President Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis are weighing whether to deploy more U.S. troops to the country.

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called for the Trump administration to put forth a new, comprehensive strategy to win the 16-year war against the Taliban. 

At a press conference, McCain said "the strongest nation on earth should be able to win this conflict," the news wire reported.

The Taliban, he reportedly said, "are not going to negotiate unless they think they are losing." 

The AP also reported that Graham said he plans to tell the president that success in the region requires many more troops than the 8,600 currently stationed in Afghanistan.

He said in their current form, the forces "will not get the job done," but with additional American and NATO military units, they can turn the current "stalemate into success."

While on their unannounced trip, the lawmakers visited the Bagram Airfield, in which NATO forces for its Resolute Support mission are stationed to help Afghan forces in the region, the Washington Examiner reported.

Prior to that, they reportedly visited South Waziristan to highlight the efforts and success of Pakistan's army.

Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Trump, Kushner meet with advocates on prison reform Democrats search for Russians — any Russians — for collusion story MORE (D-R.I.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) also attended the trip.