Army Commanders Warn On Afghan Withdrawal: Forces At 'Bare Minimum'
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: November 30, 2012
ARMY AND NAVY CLUB, WASHINGTON: "The biggest concern of my great Afghan security force partners is abandonment," said Maj. Gen. James Huggins. "We have invested a great deal (in Afghanistan) for a long time," he said, "(but) the Afghans have done it three times longer than us."
Speaking at an event this morning organized by the Institute for the Study of War (click here for video), Huggins recalled a conversation over chai with a veteran of the 1980s war against the Soviets, now a local governor. "Do you know why the Taliban come into power?" the old warrior asked him. "Because you left us too quickly after the Soviets withdrew."
It's "very deliberate," Huggins said. "The attacks first and foremost are focused to drive a wedge between us and our Afghan partner," Huggins explained. "There may be some that are random acts of violence just because of a cultural issue that came up that offended our Afghan partners, but that's not the norm."
All told, US forces will need to be in Afghanistan – and on guard – for a long time to come. "How does this end?" asked Lt. Col. Vowell. "I don't know if it does. There's an argument that there is no end state to problems like this.... For Pakistan and Afghanistan and the region, I think continued engagement, continued political engagement, is the long-term solution."
unhappycamper comment: Perhaps we should rename this the "Forever War".