Skip to comments.U.S. commander in Afghanistan warns that full withdrawal will allow al-Qaeda to regroup
Posted on 03/13/2014 6:16:59 PM PDT by xzins
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that al-Qaedas network in that country is in survival mode, but warned that a full American military drawdown after the end of the year would allow the terrorist group to regenerate there.
Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunfords remarks to the Senate Armed Services Committee appeared intended to shape the White Houses deliberation over whether to leave behind a contingent for training and counterterrorism missions beyond 2014 or pull out entirely. The decision has been delayed by the Afghan presidents refusal to sign a security pact with Washington.
A withdrawal, in my mind, means abandoning the people of Afghanistan, abandoning the endeavor that weve been here on for the last decade, and then providing al-Qaeda the space within which to begin again to plan and conduct operations against the West, Dunford said.
The general said a U.S. pullout in 2015 would be a huge moral factor for al-Qaeda, and would allow it to once again establish preeminence in the region and become the vanguard for the al-Qaeda movement from the region. If we leave at the end of 2014, the Afghan security forces will begin to deteriorate, Dunford said. The security environment will begin to deteriorate, and I think the only debate is the pace of that deterioration.
Dunford testified that he supports leaving a residual force of 8,000 to 12,000 NATO troops made up mostly of U.S. forces and a separate contingent of a few thousand special forces to carry out counterterrorism operations.
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The issue with Afghanistan is blood and treasure...mostly blood. Many Americans have given their lives in that piece of earth. As one mother lamented about the results in Iraq after our withdrawal...”as if my son died for nothing.”
I deeply regret that this was fought wrong from the beginning. What should have been a reprisal and exit became a war and nation building of endless numbers of years with continued American blood shed.
If we don’t intend to go all in and achieve an unconditional surrender, then we should stop shedding US blood.
But who will listen to him?
I believe in a nearly full withdrawal, but I want us to leave behind a base which could house up to 300,000 soldiers. It also has 100+ drones that monitor Iran and a contingent force of about 10,000 troops.
No one. If it’s contrary to Obama’s wants, this general just showed courage. I think he’s right about al Qaeda, but I think he’s wrong about the solution.
I believe in beating your enemy’s head in with everything you’ve got ‘til he cries uncle, and if you’re not willing to do that, then don’t get involved in a long-term war.
What if we have to go solo?
May the force be there!
See #2 & 7
Ain’t no real big secret/
You have a responsibility to tell the President and Congress this is not winnable with the objectives and ROE as is.
I have no desire to shed our blood to save Afgani’s, Iraqi’s or muslims in general. At the end of the day, we’ll still be infidels and they will still hate us.
Around 15 thousand there forever.
That's the way we should have handled Iraq.
But why Afghanistan?
I don’t think we ever defined the enemy in Afghanistan. However, Russia, China and Iran are our enemy, and having a large base there, makes us more capable with dealing with such threats.
Who cares. There’s real shit brewing in other parts of the world that take precedence over this hell hole.
Bush did when he went in: The Terrorist training camps and the "State" that supported them.
Both were eliminated within the first few months and that's when we should have got out.
Back for occasional killing sprees, of course.
Yes, they came to doubt it.
I agree with you completely.
Destroy the bad guys...return for occasional smack-downs as needed.
some know better than to try and pretend.
We still didn’t catch that effing Omar, one eyed head of the Taliban
Didn't he hear? obama defeated them long ago. Mission accomplished! /s
Love those Mission(s) Accomplished.
I agree with you....so F...ing what?!!!
If Al Quada grows into something that actually can attack America, then we bomb that Al Quada. America should not waste one more life or one more dollar on the back-assward country called Afghanistan. It is not worth it.
The USA has very little interest in Afghanistan and almost all of that is tied up in the public statements made by occupants of the White House.
We have no treaty.
We (and GW Bush) should have stuck to the original game plan. Kill 'em and get out.
Think about this folks, if we ever had to fight the Russians or the Chinese, those guys in Afghanistan are pawns in great peril.
For pretty much nothing.
“When you’re bleeding and dying on Afghanistan’s plains/and the women come out to crave up what remains/roll over to your rifle and blow out your brains/and go to your God a soldier’’.— Kipling.
In the run up to Afghanistan I told my wife we’d never win this “war on terror” because we aren’t willing to do what would have to be done.
It’s hard to say, but Bush was as much of a puppet of other interests as his dad, as Clinton and now as Obama.
Bush failed to define our actual enemy. He labeled this thing as a “war on terror” which by definition can never be won because any bonehead with a knife can create terror. He should have properly defined who attacked us as Muslims and attacked that.
Bush claimed in a speech that unless you are for us, you are our enemy, but Pakistan still receives billions of dollars from us, YET Al Queda has been growing, and training there forever and that is where they come from to attack Afghanistan. Besides that, the President of Afghanistan is not for us anymore either. He’s just taking our money and will disappear once we stop protecting him.
Afghani’s neither want freedom, as we know it, nor do they have the will power or knowledge to sustain freedom. They are a country filled with what amounts to theiving welfare reciepients. I say cut them off now and blow up anything that threatens our troops on their way out.
Bush said Islam is a religion of peace. GAG! They would never say it’s a war on muslims. Hell, they even backed out of calling our efforts a “crusade” because that would offend muslims. The downfall of our country will be PC crap.
True. PC is just a “clever” or manipulative way to lie and mislead. Satan is the father of lies and unfortunately, America has become his stomping grounds...at least America’s political leaders and Washington DC has become his minions and home.
Seems to me that if the goat-herder, opium growing, local afghan peasants can defy a Soviet standoff for about ten years,
and can defeat a US based military giving them shock and awe, and hill to hill combat for 12 or so years with crude weapons,
these mountain people must be the best mother F**k’in
warriors in the world!!!
What a disgrace to the US to have to walk away from this
major conflict in the world. What other country within
our treaty network will ever believe that the US has their
They’re nothing special. They only held out so long because our military weren’t allowed to go after them in their Pakistan caves.
Am currently reading Churchill's First War about a British punitive campaign into Afghanistan in 1897.
Financially it is ruinous. Morally it is wicked. Militarily it is an open question, and politically it is a blunder.
From a private letter to his mother, Jennie Randolph Churchill, 10/21/1897, regarding his assessment of the British Malakand Field Force punitive expedition against the indigenous tribal uprising in the Hindu Kush along the borders of Afghanistan, India, and the future nation of Pakistan. Churchill was 22 years of age and a subaltern veteran of this campaign. This is the same area in which U.S./NATO troops faught Muslim mujhadien (the great-great grandchildren of Churchills enemies) from 2001-2014 Americas longest war.
There is a victory, but no one is willing to go there.
What would George Patton or Douglas MacArthur do if turned loose to determine the enemy and kill it?
I’ve been saying for a while that we should have left after the punitive expedition phase and before the meals on wheels phase. Especially since we have no stomach for true nation building as we did post-WWII. That would have required we completely eradicate the opposing ideology, which of course is Islam.
Bush pushing the ROP nonsense put us 25 years in the hole, minimum, on effectively addressing the threat.
Churchill’s The Story of the Malakand Field Force should have been immediate required reading for anyone in the U.S. Government involved in reacting to 9/11. Big chunks of the State Dept., DoD, and the National Security Council, for starters.
Exactly - there's not much that can stand against our military if we "turn loose the dogs of war" and if we don't intend to take off the leash, we have no business firing a shot. I get the sense that the restraints that have been impose don our warriors is being used to adopt the philosophy that we can weaken the military machine to the point where its best efforts will only be able to give us the results that we get with all the restraining ROE - it might not be too long when we don't have the ability to win a real war even if we regain the will.