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Approximately one year after completion of the US Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Retired Army General Jack Keane laments that the situation is no different from when the US first began the 20-year war in 2001.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Keane noted not only the resurgence of the Taliban but the presence of Al Qaeda, even though the US had just killed Osama bin Laden’s aide Ayman al-Zawahri in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In fact, Keane said, Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan at the time of the US invasion is evidence of the problem.
“We went into Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from giving sanctuary to al Qaeda, from where the US was attacked. Everyone knows that. And what did we get out of this decision? It put us back in charge of the Taliban … providing sanctuary to al Qaeda,” Keane said. former army vice president’s staff. “And Zawahiri’s killing resurfaced the fact that he lives in a Taliban house in a neighborhood I’ve visited many times, where senior Taliban leaders live. And clearly, They are protecting the leader of Al Qaeda and his organization.”
Keane added that “to date, We have not done anything against the organization or anything against ISIS.
Far from the Taliban eradicating terrorists, Kense said Afghanistan was now a “sanctuary for terrorism” under their control.
“We stayed there for 20 years for the same reason we went there, to make sure terrorists don’t rise again, to attack the American people, and we’re back where we started,” he said.
Keane then issued a scathing criticism President Biden, Asserting that the commander-in-chief went against the recommendations of advisers and allies, the US called it “impudent” in its insistence on withdrawing by the end of August 2021.
“He was advised by the military, by the intelligence services and by many of his foreign policy advisers and by all the NATO nations to maintain the stalemate that we have,” Kensey said. The general, who is now a strategic analyst for Fox News, acknowledged that it was not a “perfect situation” but that it had prevented the Taliban from taking control of the country and Al Qaeda was stopped and ISIS from establishing their presence there.
“The president thought he knew better, and he was very adversarial and rejected all his advice,” Keane said. “And then, he presented a false narrative to the American people, which I found very troubling. He said, my choice is to get out, or send thousands of American troops back here to fight the Taliban and suffer casualties while doing it. .”
Keane insisted that was not a choice, as the US “has not been directly fighting the Taliban since 2014.”
Keane also criticized the US decision not to accept an offer from the Taliban to take control of Kabul, which would have meant a secure airport.
Keane admitted, “It certainly would have been a little bit more than what we were planning to do when we did it, but it would have given us a much more systematic retreat as opposed to the chaos that we saw.”
The retired general pointed to an after-action report that the State Department and Defense Department are expected to issue in the near future. He said he hoped it would involve not just a withdrawal from Afghanistan, but the entire two decades America had been there.
“Going forward, let’s learn some lessons here about these decisions and be honest about what happened and the mistakes that were made,” he said.