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Rep. Rohrabacher: U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement Represents Decade of Failed Nation Building; "...Taliban Return to Power is a Certainty"

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Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, has issued the following statement on the "strategic partnership" agreement sign on April 22, 2012, between the United States and Afghanistan, that promises at least another ten years of American military involvement after the bulk of U.S. forces withdraw in 2014:

"The Obama administration reportedly still plans to spend as much as $4 billion a year supporting Afghan security forces, plus billions more in foreign aid and "nation building' efforts after 2014. After spending over $520 billion in the Afghan campaign, we have to ask when does it end? When do we have a strategy that wins the war?

"Helping the Afghans defend themselves is a good thing, but some in Washington have been calling for as many as 30,000 U.S. troops to remain behind--a clear admission that a decade of nation building has not worked."

According to recent estimates, approximately 90,000 U.S. troops are currently in the country. How many American troops stay in Afghanistan after 2014 is open to future negotiations, however, advisors and trainers will likely remain.

The strategic agreement bans launching attacks from Afghan soil against Pakistan, the base from which the Taliban operate.

"This restriction will allow the enemy to retreat to, and rebuild in, a safe area. It is equivalent to the bombing halts during the Vietnam War which allowed the Communists to survive years of battlefield defeats to ultimately win a prolonged war," says Rohrabacher. "By obligating the U.S. to come to the aid of Kabul, yet denying the use of drone strikes, al-Qaeda and the Taliban's return to power is a certainty.

"The Afghan War continues to be justified as the only way to prevent terrorists from having a base to plot against the U.S. However, al-Qaeda is operating in many countries like Somalia and Yemen and Osama Bin Laden was killed last year in Pakistan. The Afghan model is not the way to fight global terrorism and has already been abandoned in favor of other strategies everywhere except in Afghanistan."

Rohrabacher argues that in a regional context, it has been a mistake to support Pakistan which "has always backed the Taliban as its vanguard for the conquest of Afghanistan, a strategy to gain strategic depth against India. The Pakistan alignment is an obsolete Cold War notion that does not fit today's geopolitics. China is allied with Pakistan against India as well as against us. We need to strengthen our ties to democratic New Delhi. We should also encourage Russia to do more to block the Taliban jihad to protect its own lands from the spread of radical Islam."

Rep. Rohrabacher was recently denied entry into Afghanistan by President Hamid Karzai, who personally reached out to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to express his objections. Rohrabacher was part of a CODEL led by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and stayed behind in Dubai while the rest of the delegation continued on to Kabul for meetings with leaders of the former Northern Alliance.


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