President Barack Obama "took far too long" to decide to leave 5,500 troops in Afghanistan after he leaves office in 2017, but the move will improve his legacy, retired Army Col. Derek Harvey told Newsmax TV
"The president stepped back from an arbitrary political decision to pull out of Afghanistan, where the conditions were not going to be set for success," Harvey, a former adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth. "It's a good decision."
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But Scott Neil, a former Green Beret who served in the U.S. Special Forces member and was in both Afghanistan and Iraq, was mixed about Obama's choice.
"Half of me says yes and the other half says no," he told Hayworth. "The part that I feel bad about is the young Special Forces captains and team sergeants who are the combat advisors.
"Special Forces have been in since early 2001 — and they've been fighting beside the Afghans all along. Really, when you talk about more troops or less troops, you're really talking about the Special Forces teams.
"The burden's already been on those teams for so long," Neil added. "I'm interested in seeing what type of troops he thinks will stay there an additional year."
Harvey added that the United States needed to stay in Afghanistan "for a number of years."
"We have an interest in this, and that's why we ask for the sacrifices of our service people. It's an important mission."
The mission is critical, Neil acknowledged, but Obama's decision "further discredits America as a whole.
"We're wishy-washy on our policy. We can't really get our military strategy right. We're very reactive politically to conditions on the ground during combat operations.
"The Taliban and all of the nefarious actors are watching America and they're smiling a bit because we're reactionary right now," he added. "We're not coming from a strength position nor do we have a sound policy that allows our military to take the direct action that it needs."
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