Friday, September 13, 2019

Biden: Afghanistan is ‘Three Different Countries,’ ‘Cannot be Put Together’

( – Former Vice President Joe Biden said during Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate that Afghanistan “cannot be put together,” is “three different countries,” with Pakistan controlling three provinces in the east.

He also suggested that American troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan, and that Pakistan then provide bases for the U.S. to use to ensure terrorists never again attack the homeland from Afghanistan.

The puzzling comments, one of which appeared to call into question the territorial integrity of a major non-NATO ally, came as the perceived campaign front-runner answered a question that had not been put to him, but had been asked minutes earlier of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Warren reaffirmed her pledge to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan within her first year in office, and Buttigieg also called for “an end to endless war,” adding that ensuring that Afghanistan is never again used as a launching pad for an attack on the U.S. “does not require an open-ended commitment of ground troops.”

Biden was then asked about his role in withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, and whether their quick pullout from that country had helped ISIS to take hold.

Instead, he chose to answer the earlier Afghanistan question. (He did return to Iraq later.)

Biden began by laying out his credentials as someone who has been “in and out of Afghanistan” more than anybody on the stage. “Not with a gun,” he qualified, acknowledging Buttigieg’s combat service in Afghanistan.

(As a Navy reservist, Buttigieg served about seven months in Afghanistan in 2014 as an intelligence officer, part of a unit whose task was to identify and disrupt Taliban, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups’ financial support networks.)

“The whole purpose of going to Afghanistan was to not have a counterinsurgency – meaning that we’re going to put that country together,” Biden said.

“It cannot be put together. Let me say it again: It will not be put together. It’s three different countries. Pakistan owns the three counties – the three provinces in the east. They’re not any part of – the Haqqanis run it.” - Read More

Biden: Afghanistan is ‘Three Different Countries,’ ‘Cannot be Put Together’


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