Wesley Clark: Tough it out in Afghanistan
Editors note: Wesley K. Clark, a retired troops general and NATOs former supreme allied commander in Europe, is a senior fellow at the Burkle Center for multinational Relations at the University of California at Los Angeles. Clark consults and advises companies in the planet communications, biotechnology and energy fields, some with government and Department of plea contracts. Clark was a Democratic candidate for president in the 2008 election.
(CNN) -- target the widespread jubilation upon the news of Osama stack away Ladens death rests an most-valuable policy question: Can we now leave Afghanistan? later on all, bin Laden is the reason we went there, 10 years ago. So, its for sure a fair question.
After 10 years, more than 1,400 American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, theres plenty of reason to seek prompt withdrawal. And with the achiever against bin Laden, couldnt we just call it a victory and come understructure?
Here are three considerations arguing for toughing it out a little longer:
First, we captured a trove of intelligence in Osamas house. Exploitation of this information could enable us to complete a much more satisfying destruction of the worldwide terrorist networks that develop up al Qaeda.
These remaining networks still pose a threat to the United States and to other nations. These actions will take from geezerhood to months, and we need to keep our capabilities in play until weve inflicted the maximum scathe on the enemy.
Second, we need to leave behind a substantial political arrangement when we withdraw. We dont want anarchy to ensue as U.S. forces leave, nor do we want our departure to invite a retell of the Taliban takeover of the 1990s, nor instability in Pakistan. This argues for using the momentum of the success against bin Laden to intensify the military pressures against the Taliban, both inside Afghanistan and at their sanctuaries in Pakistan.
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