Navy SEAL-turned-congressman Dan Crenshaw: We need to stay in Afghanistan just like Germany and Japan to prevent the next 9/11

news

The Taliban drove his family out of Afghanistan when he was a a child. Now he's returning as a U.S. Marine

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.


A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 911th Airlift Wing is towed across the flightline at March Air Reserve Base, California, Jan. 7, 2020. (Air Force photo by Joshua J. Seybert)

March Air Reserve Base in California will host nearly 200 U.S. citizens who were flown out of Wuhan, China due to the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, a Defense Department spokeswoman announced on Wednesday.

"March Air Reserve Base and the Department of Defense (DoD) stand ready to provide housing support to Health and Human Services (HHS) as they work to handle the arrival of nearly 200 people, including Department of State employees, dependents and U.S. citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China," said Pentagon press secretary Alyssa Farah in a statement on Wednesday.

Wuhan is the epicenter of the coronavirus, which is a mild to severe respiratory illness that's associated with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus has so far killed 132 people and infected nearly 6,000 others in China, according to news reports.

Read More

The number of U.S. troops diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury following Iran's missile attack on Al- Asad Air Base in Iraq now stands at 50, the Defense Department announced on Tuesday.

Read More
A U.S. Marine with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, assigned to the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC) 19.2, carries a sand bag to strengthen a security post during the reinforcement of the Baghdad Embassy Compound in Iraq, Jan. 4, 2020. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot)

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The United States hopes to discuss the entire strategic framework of its relationship with Iraq soon, a U.S. envoy said on Tuesday, as the fate of a U.S. military mission there remains in doubt after a drone strike that killed an Iranian general.

Read More
On Jan. 28, 2020, four Marines were awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for their actions in June 2018, when they rescued a family that had been caught in a dangerous rip current. (U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. William L. Holdaway)

In June, 2018, when a group of Marines noticed a family was being swept along by a powerful rip current at Atlantic Beach in North Carolina they immediately swam out to save them. Now, more than a year later, those Marines have been recognized for their actions.

Read More
An Army Combat Fitness Test instructor watches 229th Military Intelligence Battalion Soldiers attempt the new fitness test at the Presidio of Monterey, California. (U.S. Army/Marcus Fichtl)

Any excuses that soldiers have for not being able to prepare for the new Army Combat Fitness Test are growing slimmer and slimmer, as the service has released a revamped physical readiness training (PRT) mobile app.

Read More