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Navy SEAL-turned-congressman Dan Crenshaw: We need to stay in Afghanistan just like Germany and Japan to prevent the next 9/11
Navy SEAL-turned-congressman Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.) believes the United States should maintain a permanent military presence in Afghanistan similar to bases in former war zones such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea in order to prevent terrorist groups from plotting the next 9/11-style attack on U.S. soil.
Speaking at a veterans workshop hosted by Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) in Frederick, Maryland on Thursday, the Texas Republican said policy-makers must first do a better job of explaining to the American public what its objectives are in Afghanistan.
"We're not explaining that if we let our enemies have the operational space they will commit another 9/11," Crenshaw said. "This will happen. If we vacate Iraq in 2011 you will get ISIS. I'm worried about Syria at this point as well. We are leaving a small contingent of special operations forces there it sounds like. That's important."
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, left, listens as Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought testifies before the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, during a hearing on the fiscal year 2020 budget (Associated Press/Susan Walsh)
Crenshaw's comments came in response to concerns from one audience member — an immigrant from Afghanistan who said he fought the Soviet Union during its invasion of the country in the 1980s and whose son is currently working with the U.S. military there now — who said he was opposed to the U.S. engaging in peace talks with the Taliban
Though American diplomats said in September they were nearing on a peace deal with the Taliban, President Donald Trump ended the negotiations later that month after the insurgent group launched an attack in Kabul that killed U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz.
While Crenshaw said he understood the audience member's concerns, the former SEAL said the U.S. needs to keep talking with the Taliban to accomplish its mission in Afghanistan. First, Crenshaw said, policy makers need to be clear on what that mission is.
"We have to answer certain questions about why we're there and what our mission is," Crenshaw said. "Is it prevention? Is it deterrence? Is it defeat? Is it a little bit of all three? And we haven't done a good job answering that question for the American people for a very long time … which is why there's this war fatigue."
U.S. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw, in Afghanistan, 2012.(Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
The congressman, who lost his right eye after being injured by an IED blast during a 2012 deployment to Afghanistan, said that he favored an ongoing troop presence similar to other large U.S. military forces left stationed around the world in the aftermath fo World War II.
"We're not still in World War II and yet we've had troops in Germany and Japan ever since then," he said. "No one says that we're still fighting the Korean War, but we never left. So why is public opinion different there? It doesn't really make sense and we haven't done a good job explaining that part of the debate to people."
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), who was also in attendance at the workshop, responded to the audience member that while the U.S. plans on reducing its presence in Afghanistan from its current strength of 14,500 troops to 8,600 troops at some point in the future, there's still no clear timeframe for accomplishing that drawdown.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.