General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the presence of American forces in Afghanistan has disrupted the “enemy’s ability to reconstitute and pose threat to the United States.
Addressing an event organized by the Washington Post, Gen. Dunford said that the U.S. should remain in Afghanistan to contain the insurgent groups that pose threats not only to South Asia but to also to the American people.
“..were we not to put the pressure on Al-Qaeda, ISIS (Daesh) and other groups in the region we are putting on today, it is our assessment that, in a period of time their capability would reconstitute, and they have today the intent, and in the future, they would have the capability to do what we saw on 9/11,” Dunford said.
“The presence that we have in Afghanistan has, in fact, disrupted the enemy’s ability to reconstitute and pose a threat to us,” he noted.
The top U.S. general stressed that they will continue to put “sufficient” political, social and military pressures on the Taliban so that they will reconcile in Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.
“The recent elections were another element in terms of being positive in putting political pressure on the Taliban. Social pressure – I was encouraged by the fact that Imams in Indonesia, in Pakistan and in Saudi Arabia had issued fatwa that truly I think advanced the case of the Afghan government,” Dunford said.
He, meanwhile, noted that the pressures on the Taliban are moving in the right direction. “We were seeing for the first time in many many years, some opportunities to initiate that Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.”
However, Dunford said there is plenty of work needs to be done regarding the Afghan peace process, adding that political, social and military pressures are necessary on the Taliban.
“I have not recommended that we leave Afghanistan because again in my judgment leaving Afghanistan not only would create instability in South Asia but in my judgment, it would give the terrorist groups the space within which they plan and conduct operations against the American people, homeland and our allies,” Dunford said.