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CENTCOM says Russia likely supporting Taliban

Sergei Karpukhin / AP

U.S. Central Commander Gen. Joseph Votel appeared before the House Armed Services Committee today to address security priorities in Iran, Afghanistan, and Yemen. The highlights:

  1. Russia probably helping Taliban in Afghanistan: "I think it's fair to assume they may be providing some kind of support to them…weapons." He added: "We are at a stalemate right now. It is generally in favor of the government of Afghanistan, but stalemates tend to decline over time."
  2. Iran is the greatest threat to the U.S.: "Iran's objective here is to be the regional hegemon…there's no doubt about that."
  3. US needs to deploy soft power in Yemen: "We will need the Department of State and others" to address the conflict.