Tags: Afghanistan | War on Terrorism | Allen West | Afghanistan | troops | mission | incomplete

Allen West on Afghanistan: US Never 'Vanquished' Taliban

By    |   Monday, 29 Dec 2014 09:17 PM

The Taliban on Monday declared victory over the United States and its allies one day after NATO wrapped up its 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force will stay on in an advisory role, but that didn't stop the taunting from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who emailed a victory statement.

"ISAF rolled up its flag in an atmosphere of failure and disappointment without having achieved anything substantial or tangible," Mujahid said.

Retired Lt. Col. Allen West, appearing Monday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," agreed that the United States never completely defeated the Taliban.

"We have not vanquished the enemy from the battlefield," West said. "One of the sayings that I heard quite often in my two and a half years in Afghanistan was that you may have watches, but we have the time."

Afghanistan, he said, was not a site of war in and of itself.

"The real war against Islamic totalitarianism, Islamo-fascism, and jihadism and terrorism continues on," he said. "Afghanistan was just a combat theater of operation in that greater war."

He warned that in 2015, the five senior members of the Taliban that the United States released in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be returning to Afghanistan, rebuilding the Taliban's leadership.

The 10,000-person force left behind may not be enough to accomplish the mission, he said.

West said the United States should move away from nation-building and "occupation-style warfare" and focus instead on strike operations.

West defined four strategic imperatives he would like to see: deny the enemy sanctuary, go after its ideology through a dedicated information operation, cut off its material and financial support, and cordon it off to reduce its ability to have a sphere of influence.

"That's the kind of strategic imperatives we need to have," West said.

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The Taliban on Monday declared victory over the United States and its allies one day after NATO wrapped up its 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan.
Allen West, Afghanistan, troops, mission, incomplete
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2014-17-29
Monday, 29 Dec 2014 09:17 PM
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