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 McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid MORE (R-Ariz.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback 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.


“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 WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (D-R.I.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) also attended the trip.