On March 12, International Security Assistance Force Commander Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said a 2014 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would be counted as a “victory” by the Taliban and would “inspire” Al Qaeda.
Dunford said these things while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
According to Fox News, Dunford said: “A withdrawal in my mind means abandoning the people of Afghanistan, abandoning the endeavor that we’ve been on for the last decade, and then providing Al Qaeda the space to begin again to plan and conduct operations against the West.”
He said pointedly: “If we leave at the end of 2014, the Afghan security forces will begin to deteriorate. The security environment will begin to deteriorate, and I think the only debate is the pace of that deterioration.”
Dunford said that even if a 10,000 troop contingency remains in Afghanistan until 2017, their withdrawal in 2017 will come too soon.
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