Jones said that Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling to the Taliban, and he downplayed fears that the insurgency could set up a renewed sanctuary for al-Qaida. McChrystal has said that insurgents are gaining ground and the U.S. is in danger of failing unless more forces are sent to the fight.
“I don’t foresee the return of the Taliban. Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling,” Jones said. “The al-Qaida presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies.”
This is crazy. Of course Afghanistan is in danger of falling, and the Taliban are a revitalized force. No one can look at what is happening in Afghanistan now without worrying that it may turn back into a failed state. And no one should dismiss out of hand al Qaeda’s ability to strengthen and move back into Afghanistan if the country falls to the Taliban. We have seen this movie before, after all. And it doesn’t end well.
It seems as though the Obama Administration is doing everything in its power to keep from having to send troops to Afghanistan. It had better be prepared to reap the whirlwind if it succeeds in frustrating General McChrystal’s recommendations.