GOP Rep. Meijer: No ‘Significant Impression’ U.S. Has Influence with Taliban, We Have ‘Very Weak Hand’

On Monday’s broadcast of the Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria,” Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) said there isn’t “any significant impression that the U.S. has influence” with the Taliban, and, given the demonstrated problems with an over-the-horizon counterterrorism capability in the region, the goal of keeping Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorism is “backsliding quite rapidly.”

Meijer said the U.S. has a “very weak hand,” and “The Taliban have been surrounded and supported by their traditional allies, such as the Pakistani government, but we have yet to see any significant impression that the U.S. has influence with this group, and we need to maintain something here. You’ve seen the rise of ISIS-K. You’ve seen continuing attacks. This is a situation that could easily spiral out.”

He added, “Well, as we saw with the strike on August 30, that was meant to be in retribution for the attack on Abbey Gate that killed 13 U.S. servicemembers, we hit an aid worker, right? I mean, killed seven children. This vaunted idea of an over-the-horizon capability that we’ve maintained has surely shown its weaknesses. And right now, that’s about all that we have. We are desperately concerned that al Qaeda could continue to reconstitute, that other groups could find safe haven. And that was, frankly, the initiative and the goal 20 years ago, which maybe, temporarily was achieved, but now we see backsliding quite rapidly.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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