Barack Obama took over the war against terrorists in Afghanistan, triggered by the 2001 Islamic terror attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people, deploying tens of thousands of additional American troops under extreme rules of engagement.
It’s become, at nearly 16 years, the longest armed conflict in U.S. history.
Then Obama told the terrorists exactly when U.S. troops would be withdrawn. And although he adjusted his plans over time, he fulfilled his commitment, eventually leaving behind a small number of Americans to train and advise Afghan military and police.
The result is the presence there of American forces, supplemented by NATO teams, that are “necessary, but not sufficient, to deliver lasting stability in the region,” according to a Congressional Research Service report described in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
“To date, the United States has yet to develop and implement a joint strategy with the Afghans for bringing the war to a successful conclusion,” the CRS said in a response to the Trump administration’s proposal to send more ground troops to Afghanistan and broaden the mission.
If the U.S. doesn’t take action, the report suggested, Afghanistan could “once again descend into chaos” and ultimately harm U.S. national security.
“Such a vacuum might enable terrorist groups – including, but not limited to al-Qaida and the Islamic State – to plan and launch attacks against the United States and its allies.”
The report concluded an “influx of additional forces might therefore be better able to monitor, if not manage, terrorist groups and other threats using Afghanistan and the region as a safe haven.”
It was Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who told Congress earlier this year that there weren’t enough American operators in the country to break the “stalemate” that developed under Obama.
Congress, the report said, will have to play a role in plans to send additional troops.
“The United States and allies initially drove the Taliban from power and largely destroyed al-Qaida’s ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks from Afghanistan,” the report said.
When Obama came into office, he almost immediately sent tens of thousands of additional soldiers, then almost as quickly “announced that the United States would begin withdrawing its forces by 2011,” the report said.
Shortly after that, terror groups began regaining territory. The report said the national government, supported by the U.S., now controls only 60 percent of the nation.