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Former Obama Administration Official Warns Against Afghanistan Pullout


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Mike Morrell, former acting director of the CIA under President Obama, warned against the planned withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2016, as Obama has promised.


“One of the places in the world where we are at risk of seeing another 9/11-style capability is unfortunately in Afghanistan. When U.S. forces leave Afghanistan, if that were to happen, it’s probably going to happen, then the best case outcome is that the Taliban is going to have safe haven in the south and the east,” Morrell said during a debate titled “The Global War on Terrorism: Is it Time to Double Down?” on Thursday evening at the Navy Memorial.


“When that happens, the remaining al-Qaeda cadre in Pakistan is going to come back across that border and find safe haven with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and if the United States is unwilling and unable to do anything about it they’re going to resurge and they’re going to regroup and they’re going to come at us again,” Morrell also said at the event, sponsored by the McCain Institute of Arizona State University.

Fran Townsend, former assistant to President George W. Bush for homeland security and counterterrorism, said Obama is committed to a timeline of withdraw in Afghanistan that could lead to a situation similar to ISIS expanding in Iraq.

“There are very specific timelines. Those people are coming out [of Afghanistan] regardless of the nightmare scenario Mike posits,” said Townsend. “If that’s happening, those people are still coming out. Are we still OK with that? I don’t think so. We shouldn’t be because we will face that threat.”Scissors-32x32.png

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