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tv   Former Government Officials Assess Afghanistan Withdrawal  CSPAN  October 12, 2021 4:11pm-8:03pm EDT

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television for serious readers. learn, discover, explore weekends on c-span2. ♪♪ >> , officials from the top, obama and george w. bush administrations testified at a house foreign affairs committee on the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan. they gave their assessment of the 20 here u.s. war in afghanistan subsequent withdrawal this past august. nearly four hour hearing by new york democratic congressman, great. >> pursuant to notice, continue evaluate of the unitedd states withdrawal from afghanistan and a series of policies from the past 20 years that led to the event of august 2021. i want to take a moment to thank our distinguished panelists for
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joining us for this hearing. second an experience of exploring u.s. policy in afghanistan. to all of you for your service to our country. for the past 20 years, our troops and those of our allies. our to recognize contributions and sacrifice of diplomats and afghanistan's 2001. i'm hoping this hearing has committees oversight groups exploring policy decisions related to this that led to the events that unfolded this past month. evacuation started off that the administration was able to facilitate the evacuation of over 124,000 people in less than
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20 days with an incredible effort and result. we must recognize what we saw unfold in august of 2021 was a culmination of two decades of policies including changing our mission from defeating al qaeda to nationbuilding keep the taliban offer of surrender. effectively dealing with pakistan and safe haven in that country or announcing a search based on counterinsurgency, strategy articles and the goals of the afghan government did not to continue nitrate and drone strikes and making a deal with the taliban has altered the political landscape of this country. the list goes on and on. there are 20 fears of decisions
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and choices dating back to 2001 that led to the events of august 2021. 2002, then president george w. bush said the history of military and afghanistan has been of success all apply years of floundering and ultimate and we are not going to repeat that mistake. it's the stories of america's 20 year war effort in afghanistan. ultimately we defeated that. in 2008, president obama referred to afghanistan as quote the good work. he served an additional 30,000 troops conducting a review of afghanistan policy entrenching the u.s. further into war. recognizing the link between policies and afghanistan and pakistan failed to address that.
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president trump vocalized frustrations many americans felt about the conflict, the deal they signed the taliban directly contributed to destabilization that led to the withdrawal. i want to be clear this committee oversight effort is it whether weetermine should blame bush, obama or trump biden administration, this committee seeks to understand and learn what went right, what went wrong over the course of 40 years and we don't repeat mistakes of the past. our mission initially focus on best dismantling of our credit turned into 50 here nationbuilding exercise and ultimately with failure to build and afghan nation. why they failed to recognize what was hiding in plain sight,
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progress who were told we were making her we were told the rscorner returning was based on fact but on hope, the hope that $1 trillion was building a resilient housing education system, irreversible progress for women's rights. the hopes did not realize in the cost of our mistakes by 2461 u.s. service members and more than 100,000 afghans including more than 47000 afghans civilians killed. this is a capture thousands of americans, afghans family affected by theff war so i wanto thank the witnesses for helping us take a look at the policies that got us here and what we could have done different so we don't ever again repeat the mistakes of the past.
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i now recognize ranking member for opening n statements. >> thank you, i hope this will be one of many public hearings and briefings as we begin the investigation into president finds withdrawal from afghanistan. president biden and officials and the administration have continued to push the notion that only two options were available in afghanistan. one on this chaotic way or two, keep tens of thousands of troops on the ground indefinitely. i believe it's a false premise. first, president biden could have listened to topld generals who advised him to lead a small counterterrorism force behind, this also would have been able tos keep thousands of troops and no matter what the president claimed in the media, it's clear general milley, mckenzie and miller allll advised against ful
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withdrawal before the evacuation began but even if the president wanted to withdraw all u.s. troops, he could have listened to republicans and democrats in congress including many on this committee who begged him for months to take necessary steps to mitigate fallout our withdrawal would cause. as a witness wrote in our new york times op-ed may 1 -- i'm sorry, - may 4 before the united states completed our withdrawal, it was final president biden set up agreement with neighboring countries tong provide capabilities, develop a clear strategyop protecting our embasy staff and aid workers to continue humanitarian assistancu programs from a three honor promises we made to afghan partners who fought alongside our troops including ftr interpreters through special immigrant visa program but he
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did none of that. instead, president biden a lot politics and bad judgment to dictate our national security rather than conditions on the ground if he advocated responsive bodies as commander-in-chief by refusing to take responsibility for misguided decisions and blaming everyone but himself. he buried his head in the sand while we all watched afghanistan will before our very eyes. as a result, president biden failed leadership, 13 american service members were killed with 18 more wounded. we've abandoned hundreds of americandr citizens and lawful permanent residence behind enemy lines. move up thousands of afghan partners behind. all with a bull's-eye on their backs and all of them with the taliban. if they are cut, they will surely be executed. in other words, general milley hadd recently our withdrawal frm afghanistan was a strategic failure.
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this disaster has created very real long-term threats to our national security director of national intelligence admitted our intelligence capabilities have been diminished. deputy director of the cia director of defense intelligence agency said al qaeda could develop capabilities to distract u.s. within one to two years and general mckenzie said last week that it's yet to be seen we can prevent al qaeda and isis from using afghanistan to launch terror attacks into the u.s. and our allies. on top of that, we've anchor our allies, and event are partners. last week, our m credibility seemed intensely reviewed by both allies andot adversaries, t damaged as 14 to be used. so much is left to be uncovered
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and there are many lessons to be learned from this and the last 20 years as you pointed out, he would die met during our search when we had 100,000 troops on the ground. i remember visiting the taliban omar was hiding in pakistan. he would not agree 2500 americans plus nato forces is a small price to payay for stabily and any withdrawal have been conditioned based so i deeply appreciateat you and other witnesses for appearing here today to provide us with your insight let me thank you for having this hearing and i look forward to many more in the future and i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair of the subcommittee on asia, german for one minute.
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>> thank you and i want to thank thee witnesses for agreeing to e here in front of the committee. obviously there is a wealth of knowledge the past 20 years. there will be lots of debate on withdrawal and how it was executed with expertise on this panel, is important to understand why afghan security forces collapsed as quickly as they did after 20 years of investment and why the government collapsed. the reason is we are where we are right now and we have to think about both diplomatic the best way we approach afghanistan in the region and how we work with the country's central asia and working with pakistan to hold a semblance so doesn't become a failed state back in
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harbor terrorists and etc.ri soi look forward to that and i yield back. >> thank you. now ranking member mr. savage or one minute are you there? >> yeah, i was having some technical difficulties, sorry. there's a lot of blame to go around why the united states didn't ultimately succeed in afghanistan but all the missteps previous at ministration pales in comparison to the biden administration and its disregard for the resulting human suffering. it's showing one of the worst foreign affairs disasters in american history. the biden administration has tried any number of excuses and pointing fingers of blame everyone but himself but facts
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are the facts. taliban are in charge, they are in a state of slavery, afghanistan has once again been a haven for terrorists and for terrorists now have our weapons
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to be used against us and our allies. our allies don't trust us and our enemies don't fear us as much. looking back over the last 20 years, it's important to remember while past president talked about leaving, president biden actually did it and he owns the consequences and i yield back. >> thank you, ranking member. i now introduce our distinguished panel of witnesses. the honorable gifted deputy secretary of state from 2001 to february 2005 under president george w. bush. lieutenant general raymond mcmaster served as national security advisor february 2017 to april 2018 under president donald trump. a former korea foreign service office, six times in american ambassador to iraq, pakistan syria, kuwait, lebanon and afghanistan. a aca douglas served in 2009 under president barack obama as a senior official -- [inaudible] for south asia national security. [two bells tolling] -- 17 as a u.s. ambassador. we are honored to have you before the house foreign affairs committee, he will have five minutes to deliver opening remarks and without objection, your prepared written statement be made part of the record. i will now recognize the
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witnesses before their testimony. [silence] do we have -- you are on mute. >> can you hear me now? >> now i hear you. >> i apologize. briefly, thank you for submitting our opening statements along with my colleagues, this is not my first rodeo so with your permission, i let you get you to your job
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asking questions and i'll do the best i can to answer questions. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. mcmaster, you are recognized for five minutes. >> distinguish members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to be with you and i fence on this panel. i focus on describing causes of self defeat in afghanistan based on strategic narcissism and self-delusion but i hope we might also discuss likely long-term consequences associated with the catastrophe there and what we might do to mitigate the consequences and begin to recover. humanitarian security and political disasters in afghanistanni are just beginnin. tolerance we imposing sharia, more afghans will suffer, numbers of refugees were row, ready made hostage places that resulted from leaving american
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and allied citizens behind as well as afghans who fought to preserve their freedom will continue. terrorists are gaining psychological financial and fiscal strength. victories for the a tolerant isa victory for jihadist terrorists everywhere but especially superpower. they are using our surrender and withdrawal has isis used establishment of the islamic state in 2014 after complete control from iraq in december 2011 recruit more to the cause from far beyond emirate in afghanistan the islamic emirate of afghanistan will give jihadist unfettered access to narcotics trade from other
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illicit enterprises, state revenue diverted international assistance but a jihadist terrorist organizations are not only growing larger and numbers from a moree confident and richer, they are also becoming more disruptive, humiliating withdrawal left terrorists with billions of dollars of weapons and the weapons will be shared among over 20 u.s. tested negative terrorist organizations and terrorist echo system across afghanistan and pakistan. some of the groups already turned against nuclear armed pakistani army and government. it's not difficult to imagine terrorists gaining access to the most destructive weapons oncc earth. it's for these reasons that i believe our self defeat in afghanistan product disengagement in the fight against jihadist terrorists internationally in recent months has made jihadist terrorists more dangerous today than they
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were on ten september, 2001. finally, we are already witnessing the political dimension of our lost war from toulon to moscow to beijing, adversaries are emboldened in our friends and allies.we are trustworthy. thank you for the privilege of being with you, i believe this committee may be more important than ever because the humanitarian security political disaster in afghanistan is the result of incompetence across multiple administrations. unless the american people and representatives in congress demand better from our c leaders about the prospect of learning from our experience in south asia rebuilding strategic competence and facing stain of 2021 willf remain dipped. thank you.
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>> i now recognize ambassador for five minute you are on mute ambassador, you're on mute. >> can you hear me now? >> now i hear you. >> i apologize. ranking member, i've had the privilege to see post- 9/11 afghanistan from different perspectives in different years. i reopened our embassy kabul in the first week of january, 2002. as it happens, it was secretary who sent me there to do that. we never had a doubt about why we were there without embassy. it was about america's security
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homeland that never again any kind of element be able to reform afghanistan that could strike us as we were struck on 9/11. that was the case then, that was the case when i returned as ambassador in 2011 and 12 so i don't think there was ever really a serious question as to why we were there, folks are a couple bucks the differences came over how to do it, one of the means and ways? when i arrived from 800,000 students and afghan schools. when i i left in 2012 from the number was roughly 8 million, some 35%. was that a means to our and? asked. an educated population, both genders growing up, coming of
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age in an environment of free speech and media access. he's take a long time for fruition and i will just jump ahead try think our ultimate failure here and elsewhere. a lack of strategic basis. we are not good at the long haul, that's how we built our own country. we want results, we want them now and if we don't get them, we move on to something else and i think afghanistan has now emerged as the poster child for that failure. i don't see it as gross incompetence, i don't see it as a confused appreciation of why who were there. we were there to defend america's security at home, sending it forward in afghanistan but we ran out of patients. this has bedeviled american
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policy and indeed it's fostered a culture long before america on the role of the international stage we see today. our enemies have come to count on our strategic inpatients and allies in fact what we are dealing with today. what i would say as we look forward or attempt to look forward, we have to understand our danger has increased. pakistan next door, i was there for three years, the pakistanis consistently gave safe haven to the taliban some of the most if there is a limit why? i said it to me we know you're going to walk out one day and walked up out of this defeat, he will walk out on us again and we will not be left with the
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taliban as our enemy so they probably had 15 minutes as events proved right that we would go but only 15 minutes because they are. the tolerant so-called victory islamic extremists certainly and pakistan to the tolerant overthrow the government. understand there's conversation on the way pakistanis enhanced click to their own security as a, rent increases in the tolerant message flowing through the entire islamic world where they are emboldened. how we got there is important, what do we do now you,
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ambassador. i now recognize ambassador -- you, thank you for this opportunity to appear before you today to discuss this important topic. in this brief statement, i'll offer thoughts on context for your work and going forward. also online, several lessons i take away from this. first of all, context. try to convince of the last several weeks especially the government, evacuation, followed in suicide attack from problemki that tragically killed 13 americans and over 150 afghan civilians, it's natural to focus on the near term from the last several weeks and ask ourselves, how did we come to this? i believe however, a more powerful and useful effect would be entailing a deeper and broader view.
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the defeat could not happen in the last 20 days or 20 weeks. it's cumulative of the last 20 years and despite all efforts of sacrifices of our nation from nato allies and partners and flow significantly, afghan people, and afghan state self sustainable andla legitimacy amg the afghan people. we need to understand by. also in context from there may be the tendency to define narrative only to afghanistan itself. the full story in the broader picture, the capabilities and mindsets from a resident in our military and intelligence community as well as our ability to integrate and the policymaking process across four administrations here in washington. only a deep and broad
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examination will render a better understanding of how involvement ntin afghanistan and the as it did. let me kick this off. coming out of your examination and histories and let me offer for that have to do primarily with executing strategy for the purposes of this conversation, i pudefined strategy as alignmentf ways and means overtime, the alignment of what we all well to do that only resources required to do that. there are ants, quasi- clean, we do not have a strategy in there were clean ends, ways and means greater when we national group,
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we must look at a picture i was possible in this specific setting a deeper understanding must be and aspiration. we should apply a healthy dose of humility as to what's possible. afghanistan was in this and recommend this ambitious goal state with a strong government beyond our capabilities at the outset 2001 and 2002. once we set realistic goals, we must have required our experience in afghanistan we further resourced especially is prioritized beginning in 2003 during the same initial seven or
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eight years, tolerant not to against the government and as years passed between the resources we applied persisted decreasedfi for our success. among resources committed to afghanistan, we over relied on often provided to few are discounting the importance of political diplomatic and development resources. we seldom achieved a balanced whole of government approach. we talked a good game about whole of government but seldom achieve it in the end, the collapse in afghanistan proved to be a political classca as our military and get a political army in iq we discounted. number the positive side and
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value contribution of others. nato allies in particular and i just happened to be seated at u.s. mission in nato nato allies natohe treaty on the day after 9/11. stayed with us 20 2 here's leavg over 1000 killed in action. resources in the european union bank, inf and. we cannot take interventions like afghanistan along. clear first off that needs doing cannot be done alone one final piece, most of us on the panel grew up in an environment, military culture, state department culture will retry to
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harvest less in my fellow panelist may agree with me, there's a differenceee between lessons and lessons learned. it's important to define blessings your committee is doing but it's even more significant to actually learn the lessons and by learning i mean adopting organizations, adapting structures, budgets so the lessons actually mean something. only when we honor sacrifices of many in afghanistan over the past 20 years. >> thank you. i want to thank you all for your testimony. i now recognize numbers for five minutes each pursuant to the house rules and the purposes of questioning our witnesses. recognized members by committing seniority between democrats and republicans.
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please note i will be strict with enforcing the five minute time limitation so everybody gets the opportunity to ask a question. i will start by recognizing myself for five minutes. one of the thing in everyone's written statement, there was one overlapping feature that played a central role on the ending. that was the deal trip president trump's tolerant deal or that the relief of 5000 prisoners, exclusion of the afghan government on negotiation or a clear commitment to separate from al qaeda so i'll ask maybe first mr. mcmaster, how do you think things might have been different d had the deal agreedo by secretary of stateon pompeo d donald trump never had?
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>> we have to call it what it was, i can picture layton agreement based on concession after concession that not only served the overall purpose from afghanistan and the effect of strengthening debt tolerant and weakening afghan government security forces on the way out and we are talking about strategic competence and business paragon or extreme example of incompetence that i think essentially double down og mistakes that began in the obama administration. president obama announced reinforce security effort in afghanistan in 2010, he announced withdrawal troops at the same time and said let's negotiate with the taliban. how does that work? negotiate with your enemy after you give them a timeline for your withdrawal. the trumpet a penetration
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corrective to the approach in the august 2017 policy and double down on that fundamental flaw of a disconnect between what we are doing militarily and trying to achieve politically. i think this was a set up for the tremendous s failure we witnessed. of course the biden administration has agencies over this and could i have reversed t or provided correct way but chose not to. it's a fundamental flaw across multiple administrations integrating the limits of power to achieveim objectives. >> the ambassador in the obama ministration during the time of 2011 not afraid which was another missed opportunity in my opinion to find a way to leave afghanistan. weha understand there was a wayo open the taliban and just back.
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what can you tell us how they obama is ministration through the killing of bin laden related to ending the fight in afghanistan for negotiations to establishli during the obama administration. >> president obama proved a surge of 30,000 units and 10000 others in december of 2009 as hr that he did that at west point. the next month inside the white house we began to explore what we consider possible openings with the taliban. there were a lot r of threads of possibility tolerant might want to talk to the united states. that process develops 2010 and by november 2010, administration officials authorized by president obama, the head of the taliban political office in
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germany so parallel to troops search, to try to explore, there was nothing certain about this or even likely about this in terms of success but we have the openings explore diplomatic openings with the taliban an effort to complement bring intoat alignment literary and political finances. with the killing of bin laden in 2011, but wasas followed a coupe months later by the end of the search itself, beginning of the end troop levels began to taper off in the summer and fall 2011 so l although it wasn't anticipated, there was a link between getting bin laden in april 2011 and beginning of the end of the search that followed.
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>> as you said in your testimony, you criticized the biden administration in terms of afghanistan. you've been clear that this was the wrong move. under what conditions, what do you think exactly what have been the right withdrawal? >> thank you. as i have tried to convey, patient is critical in these complex contingencies we continue to face overseas. we talk about victory and defeat as though they were absolute, winning at boozing, for use those terms, they never have. there are conflicts that cannot be one in a classical sense but can be managed and backed where
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i think we were in afghanistan. when i left kabul in 2012, we had over 100,000 u.s. troops on the ground, the taliban was active but entailed meant about 34 c-uppercase-letter inn afghanistan. he began dropping pretty quickly so by the time president obama left office, was over 10000, 10% of what was when i had been there. the numbers continue to drop and still the taliban held no potential capitals so it seemed to me we were in a position where it was a very modest course of my 2500 was probably too low, four to 5000 plus nato partners. i think we could have managed that indefinitely.
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that may have been what it would take, you don't put a date on the calendar, that tells your enemy how long they have to hold out for and that is the irony as general master alluded during the trump administration saint august 2017 is not the counter, it's condition so we threw away a chance to further insecure our home and global security with a modest force. much of america's power is symbolic and symbol of u.s. military presence no longer engaged infpr combat was itselfa powerful weapon. we just gave it up. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> thank you.
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my conversations with national security security pompeo, the agreement was always conditions based. that's been mentioned, it's hard to fathom president trump agreeing to unconditional surrender to the taliban. but having said that, i know there's a lot of blame to go around, you have served -- i want to thank you for your service and hotspots in the region and they are responsible for evacuation and they did not take our advice in the obsessed and they left behind. still somewhat today all afghan partners will certainly face execution based on your long-term experience, how would you rate the six evacuation?
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>> it would be hard to recall, i can't recall one that was more chaotic than the one we experienced in afghanistan. clearly no one anticipated rapidity of the taliban take over. i assume not our folks on the ground and obviously this would be the subject of further hearings. having been through an evacuationev order to about the fact that we did not wind up with a run situation with our embassies diplomats and it, that took action just to ensure they couldn't get any worse than it already was so as you know, i am
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on the board of no one left behind and has sought for sometimes those who bring us and risk their lives doing so with the visa's program but we left literally thousands behind including family members so in addition to american citizens which are first priority, we left a lot of other folks behind, we left behind afghan women and girls who heated our call to step forward to get an education. once the parliament started, you take the steps with got your back. >> now that taliban on the embassy where you served and where we visited so many times but there is talk of a new empty improved taliban to normalize relationships. we can legitimize their
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governments. when i look l at the makeup of e leadership, same cast of characters was strong ties to terrorism and al qaeda, what would be your advice in terms of the administration, normalization of our relationship with the taliban? >> first, the comparison, touting takeover in the mid- 90s is not what we are looking at right now. a closer parallel iranian revolution of 1979 which we were told by iran's civilian leadership in the fall of 79, now is the time to come back in as u.s. they miss read it because they had no idea b what was going onn the inner circles. i think that is what we are looking at now. i think we're probably going to see something of a revolution
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within the taliban so we can't predict what they are going to do next because they can't predict. >> my final question, thank you so much. over the horizon capability, that is our capability we've been talking about for a while. i don't think i can see how you can effectively doing that we couldn't even do proper drone strike on the ground afghanistan. whether partnering with russia to use basis and central russia counterterrorism from what are your thoughts on this capability? >> thank you, these are raise to be conducted against obvious targets but now you have the
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taliban in control of larger urban o areas intermingling with populations which makes thehi likelihood of lateral damage a big risk as we saw with mistaken strike after mass murder attack against afghans at the airport. it's almost impossible to gain visibility of a terrorist network without partners on the ground helping with human intelligence to map the networks so this can be a band-aid, we could go after the most egregious terrorist leaders with this but theut idea effective counterterrorism against organizations like al qaeda. the other thing to remember is our capitulation agreement to the taliban, we are recognizing their airspace and reluctant to
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take actions we should be taking now against those terrorizing afghan civilians or maybe enforcing safe zones for refugees and those resisting the taliban but those talking about over the horizon givee buddy hae only unlimited knowledge of what it takes to conduct effective counterterrorism options. >> i totally agree with you and i see my time is expired. >> judgments time has expired. i recognize the gentleman from california for five minutes. >> thank you, i won't disagree with ranking member trump capitulated. he said we leave by may 1 of this year committed us to doing so and would have done so and he did so indi negotiations where e excluded the afghan argument of
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government. in world war ii, we one complete victory to rebuild adversaries in our own image. we came away perhaps then with the idea that we should solve problems rather than manage problems. mr. crocker correctly identified the fact that there are few total victories and problems need to be managed. the american people have a certain strategic inpatients. part about maybe our and will incur ten to 20 casualties a year for the latter 40 of the 50 years. they instead told us we were winning and creating something
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so i don't know whether america is capable of doing what rome did, maintain the river for hundreds of f years, i don't knw whether we are incapable of doing that because of our people or because of our leaders. what's being put forward here is that should have been a better plan for withdrawal. secretary blink and in response to my questions demonstrated there was no truck plan for withdrawal. he said our current administration inherited a deadline, not a plan. now the generals testify as p if they had a plan for effective withdrawal but as pointed out in this hearing, it wasn't a withdrawal plan, it was a plan to stay there with at least 2500 of our forces for at least 25, perhaps 25 years. when you leave 2500, that means
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if they get in trouble, you have to be prepared to deploy more. historians will argue perhaps we should have stayed in afghanistan the last ten years we were there, the casualties were 1% of what we incurred earlier but the american people were never consulted about a long-term engagement. ... we were making progress toward the hole in 2,032,042,005 and six and seven.
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mr. met master -- mcmaster did the people running the policy believe that or in which case they were totally out of touch with what was going on in the country or did they just figure that they would mislead the american people for whatever reason? >> i think they were bring under the flood of assessment the progress of war is linear and they did need knowledge the authorship for the future that our enemies had. for those years 2003, four and five it was generating with the help of the isi and the help of al qaeda. we acted as if it was linear. remember. >> the american people in 2070 did you know what we are in worse position now than we were
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in 2007. we haven't made progress. the american people we are being told every year were making progress toward this goal and they felt sufficient in afghanistan and it will exclude -- and we weren't in any better position than we were ina 2007. why were the insiders lying to us? >> i think you are right across multiple administrative center leadership did not tell the american people it does what it deserved to know and why did they cared what is at stake in afghanistan and will the strategy deliver favorable outcome?tc >> we will have to have patience as a people and in order to do that we need leadership that says sometimes you have to stay on the front lines with minimal casualties for decades. i yield back.
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>> you know recognized representative crist smith of new jersey for five minutes. >> thank you very much mr. chairman for calling this important hearing into the distinguished witnesses thank you forrs your leadership and insight. on the issue of how many americans and afghan allies were left behind and what is happening to them right now? are they being rescued and what's happening day-to-day to these individuals? and two in your testimony general mcmaster our allies confident that -- and in a previous -- with secretary blinken i asked him about the response of china and how are they determining what has happened here especially as it relates to taiwan in seeing a
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great uptick in provocations by the chinese military against taiwan who is the harbinger of some very bad things. but the world is running out of incentive -- incentives and does thatat however unwittingly make war mark likely? i would remind my colleague i've been here since 1980. i have raised issues in china and my entire 41 years on human rights abuses. time on their hit list according to -- the genocide is going on.e i know you mr. chairman it said much in the ranking member have spoken out old lee but it won't matter one iota what xi jinping and his chinese communist party
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is doing to the people there. hong kong obviously has lost seriously the constitutive democracy. what is xi jinping doing with regards to this and finally i asked secretary blinken the other day whether or not the july 23 overhaul stated that we didn't show a better position whether it be true or not and true or not whatever is true is true and whatever is not we are seeking to see and his answer was responding n to leak transcripts. in that phonecall was reported by reuters and if you want to speak to that as well. that to me is very troubling and what can we count on if we are looking at perception rather than reality? >> thank you sir. i will start on people within afghanistan that need to get out.
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my understanding is hundreds of american citizens. my more complete understanding is thousands of individuals eligible for special immigrant visas and their immediate families the administration has also put onal the table to humanitarian parole which would cover thousands of other haafghans. now how do you get them out and here i think the administration has done one thing that i do applaud. they have re-organized as i understand that there structures for dealing with the issue of folks coming out of afghanistan so there was an element focused on resettlement in this country and there is an element that is focused on afghan in third countries and u.s. states overseas and the third element for those still within afghanistan who need to get out
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and ambassador beth jones my former foreign service colleague is heading that getting people out to need to get out and i cannot think of a more capable and experienced individual and also very creative to head up that effort and is very well-known to secretary armacost so i'm hoping there will be a better focus on people who know how to do stuff and that we may now start to seeta something moe more equitably on getting the people out. >> on the phonecall what's important is the the degree to which it reveals the reversal of morality associated with their engagement with the afghans and the degree to which we are i think harboring with the taliban against the afghan government. no sounds crazy but that's what we are doing were urging ashraf ghani to do more for peace in
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the afghans and the taliban were celebrating. we didn't ask arkansas that to do more for peace and a connection with the fallout and encouragement of the chinese communist party to keep them in taiwan and the chinese have been clear about it and he see the chideded daily the day after followed kabul. the messages do you really think they have your back and i would direct you to these -- threatening taiwan now much like i think you can make the connection between the unenforced red line in syria in 2013 and 2014 and russia's annexation from army current meand the days of ukraine as well as china's building of weaponized thing of violence in the south china sea turiczek capability times willen but makes this very dangerous as many of our adversaries think our will is down to about zero so it is an extremely dangerous
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time we are in right right now in your committee of course plays a very important role in working us up to that danger. >> thank you. the dome is time has expired. an owl recognized this chairman of subcommittee in the middle east and counterterrorism for five minutes. >> daring few chairman meeks and thank you for your leadership in making sure that this committee has provided after -- on the afghan with style. general mcmaster ii have to follow up on your last comment drawing a straight line from our focus in afghanistan in the way it was handled to the actions today this week by china over taiwan. what would you suggest would be an appropriate response at this point? and by your suggestion is they gathered the sense of deterrence
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has been lost. >> it's really to restore deterrence by convincing the chinese comments party that it's not accomplished objectives vis-à-vis taiwan to coercion throughot military force for a t of the actions the administration has undertaken are positive in that connection and i applaud the agreement and especially the arms sales in taiwan and encouragement that taiwanese armed forces and the taiwanese leadership to make taiwanti indigestible to the liberation army. there's a range of action china can take below the threshold on it concerted response from the united states and our allies and partners in the region. i think we are in essentially in a race to restore deterrence capability across the indo pacific and oriented on taiwan already. the point next year for the beijing elections in a communist party congress of 2022. >> i appreciated.
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and let me speak to you german mcmaster i think you said in afghanistan as a result we are and are more precarious a more dangerous position than we were on september 10 of 2001. obviously you have spoken about the fact that we cannot and should not work with the taliban and you have talked about the challenges to over the horizon with counterterrorism as being effective. given the picture that you have painted what is the right approach now to keep our homeland safe in light of law we just went through? >> a sustained effort against jihadist oeste brought in doing that with a broad range of capabilities we can bring to bear to support our partners who are bearing the brunt and that
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includes capabilities that certainly military capabilities to advise armed forces and indigenous forces along with the french to somalia and then in central asia if we are able to do that to have -- to be effective they are. this is a model that works and it's at a real low cost for us. i see law enforcement corporation capabilities as well as financial actions and then going after illicit financial flows and long-term educational reform as well as private i say to dickers from any ideological support so it's really an intensification of a broader counterterrorism nest -- network and maintaining the authorization for these military forces are very important. if you look at the administration's actions against jihadist terrace they have let up in recent months and maybe because of this idea that wars and when one side disengages that if they are pointing out
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these jihadists are waging an endless jihad against us and when we leave it they don't look around at say hey the americans are gone and i guess we should just stop. >> i appreciate that general mcmaster. america is the first and only country to vote in article v as we did after 9/11. they are all kinds of questions about coordination with our allied during the drawdown. can you speak to one, your sense of that coordination and conversation and two steps that they cannd take now to improve d reaffirm our commitment to the going forward? >> i've spent the last two days on their mission at nato headquarters and i have asked repeatedly state officials and allies about the press reports coming out this summer that
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suggested that there was insufficient consultation leading up to the u.s. withdrawal and frankly inside nato headquarters there was intent consultation on the left withdrawals. with tony blinken and lord austin and the joint defense ministers meeting in june. most often mentioned here was not this summer but the consultations leading up to a of consultationsng leading up to te trump ordeal in february of 2020. allies learned about the substance of that deal from the media and there was a period of time when trump refused to share the agreement with the taliban
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with our allies. that's the regard of consultation. say thank you and thanks fischer chairman. i yield back. >> i now recognize steve chabot of ohio who's on them breaking member of this central asian nonproliferation, for five minutes. >> i will begin with ambassador crocker. august 312000 president obama declared quote the american combat mission in iraq and operation iraqi freedom at the time of the iraq with trial between the general i would note that was general austin in exactly three years later, excuse me 11 years later to the day president biden declared last night and cobbled the united states in 20 years of war
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in afghanistan my fellow americans the war in afghanistan is over unquote. under the circumstances are we likely to go back as we did in iraq and what are the security implications as the result of the chaotic evacuation from afghanistan? >> thank you sir. i have said this for years now. you don't handle for by withdrawing their forces. you simply e. is the field to others who have more patience and more staying power. it's simply false to claim once we are gone curtain down the wars over and that's what we have seen in iraq of course unfortunately and that is now what we are seeing in
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afghanistan. he tried to keep coming back to keep charging on these sorts of things again that strategic patience issue. i would give you to the second part of your question i was referring to the force that came in marines and airborne troopers and they did a fabulous job with a situation. we lost folks there marines and navy corpsmen and an airborne trooper. it brings me to mind of what happened in beirut in 1983. i was there. the federal agency blew up in april and i was there in october and i would have to say i hope exceedingly that in the after actionha reports on how those
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marines and others were lost why put on the shoulders of the new commander? they did a brilliant job under conditions and one of the shameful things that i had to witness as an american was the fact that in beirut as the barracks bombing the responsibility was not placed any higher than on the -- at the time. the loss of these folks and our marines and the others demand higher accountability than that. i just wanted to put that on the record. >> thank you mr. ambassador. my time is kind off limited. how do you think tehran beijing and moscow are viewing the chaotic withdrawal of u.s. troops in afghanistan? the current administration is insisting they are disappointed to see us leave. is this an assessment that
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measures with reality in your opinion? >> i think beijing and moscow will fill the boy in central easia and the time not qualified to talk about the strategic -- but you can see what the china pakistan economic quarter and the solidification of that servile relationship with the pakistanis. that's going to carry over a think into central asia with an eye towards afghanistan and is connected to the frontier in mongolia as part of the road initiative to gain a position of predominant requiring power plus the eurasian landmass frankly. russia has been the source of fighting to the taliban. you have more information about that than i do. so is china and in the rush to accommodate the taliban weight
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gain strategic advantage. this is handy as well so the idea that disengaging from afghanistan makes us more competitive with china makes no sense at all because these other regions including -- are arenas of competition with russia and china and the of confidence in oour staying power that leads o a broad range of activity. you see this play out in particular with iran but i think they are randy's arm pulled in by this and their message in iraq and syria indeed the americans are on their way out here as well. i think this is had a very negative effect. >> the gentleman time has expired today now recognize representative karen bastin
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california the chair of the committee on human rights. >> some of you in her opening statements made the observation that we simply did not reach the situation correctly. ambassador lute you increasingly said -- do you agree with this assessment and what does that attribute to us then and now and how can we ensure that the u.s. government is able to see things from the perspective of others rather than simply our own? maybe i could start with ambassador's lute and then i'd like to ask the others. >> what is meant by that quote is we had an insufficient understanding of the facts surrounding our intervention in afghanistan. understandable if we go back to just after 9/11 there
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was a prudent rash to strike the taliban safe haven and bring them to justice because who were sure that 9/11 was an event. the initial intervention makes a lot of sense. my comment that you quote have to do with the shift from that operation focused merely on a qaeda and assuming a more ambitious objective of staying in afghanistan here is where we had two different understandings on the demographics on the geography and on the region on the political culture in afghanistan so we had these lofty goals for selves. >> i mean we have the history of trying to rebuild nations and create dates and i don't know
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what what your overall opinion of that is not just in afghanistan but elsewhere. >> well it does play out in another scenario over the last 50 years. it's not really understood what was going on and didn't have sufficient understanding of the problem and that has come back to bite us. say can you think of anywhere that we have been successful in the last 50 years in rebuilding the country? >> you'd have to give me a fewew minutes. >> maybe some of the other witnesses can respond to that. >> they are many examples of where we still are. ask ambassador rocker to jump in as well. i think the people in those regions prefer the situations they are in now rather than what they have gone through. we had an intervention in panama that was pretty successful and long-term support for colombia
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which was predicted would be fail-safe in 1999 and not a pretty place in many ways and south korea from 1953 looks pretty bleak and south korea was on the path to being successful until the economic reforms of the 70s and governors of forms in the 80s. the short-term to long-term solutions i think happenedes in afghanistan and i think we understood it well enough. enough afghans have figured it out and i think our policies were based on fantasy in washington. think about what our leaders told us. they keep telling us the haqqani network is separate from the taliban and al qaeda. i mean really? that's delusional. it's a more benign form of sharia and it's really laughable
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if it wasn't so devastating in terms of the consequences. >> what me just ask you after our experience in afghanistan do you think there's any security component of what we tried to do that is sustainable? >> a lot of it was sustainable if we sustain their commitment to allow the afghans to maintain themem for serving it and i've e what we have accomplished based on those watching the taliban do write right for the afghan people. >> is there anything left is my question. >> in the hearts of afghans i think when they keep saying hey let's engage the taliban on the future of afghanistan we are engaging over 90% of afghans that don't want to live under taliban rule and giving them a voice. that's something the committee can do in terms of rear occasion as well. >> that i had one thing please?
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>> i don't want to be the skunk at the picnic though we could not prevail in afghanistan and it's not because our soldiers are the best because they are but it's because over time 2005 and 2006 general eikenberry was our leader and run new and is ambassador and cables are coming in saying we are not losing yet but we are going to be soon. things were changing and the men were digging up their weapons. we never change what we are doing reminds me of the story of a group of blind men who were asked to describe o an elephant and how they describe it so some of our folks would describe women's issues and that's fantastic and glorious dreiser made but how about the one stride that was never made by me could not prevail and that is an because at the end of the day i
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personally and it said it publicly it's not surprising with the speed with which things fell because afghan soldiers just felt their corrupt government was not worth the sacrifice. i've seen of the foreign vietnam the exact same thing. thankof you. >> thank you mr. chair. >> the gentlelady time has expired and i now recognize -- for five minutes. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. mii appreciate you holding a hearing for us and i've got to say the american people want accountability especially with the circumstances of this marine corps lieutenant colonel and i'm not going to defend his actions as a guy who has been privileged to wear the uniform for a very long time however the irony that he is being punished and the people at the top of this is
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just astounding failure on behalf of the american people and maybe the administration wanted to to work out this way. there's a lot of conjecture that points in that direction but the american people sure didn't want it this way and with all due respect mr. chairman and the people on the panel all the distinguished there any responsible for what just happened leading to my good friend from sherman oaks and i must disagreee saying that the trump administration like the plan. they dislike the plan in the biden g administration didn't le the plan but they changed everything that the trump administration sought to do including nord stream the paris climate accord and you can go -- good analyst with the mexico city policy. and responsible and respectful so i just disagree with that but with what we have present i want
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to turn to general mcmaster. the degradation of major non-nato allies, can you shed any light onto why you think this administration has refused to at least tell the congress of determining that for afghanistan and in the context of american tax dollars have been going there for a long time. our lives and treasure have been going there and in many people's minds now it's wasting. they feel like they don't want to continue to pay the afghanistan and the corrupt government of afghanistan that we have created. >> deeming pakistan? >> i mean afghanistan and then i will get to pakistan. you can handle those two if you want to sir. >> i think it's delusional to think that anybody that would go
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through the taliban for humanitarian purposes would immediately be used by the taliban to solidify their fire be common greater threat. we are a situation we are facing a dilemma where it's going to be tough to faces -- don't think we should give any assistance to pakistan athie all. i think obviously we have two great experts but i think pakistan should be confronted with his behavior over the years that has resulted in this outcome. i think we should hold him responsible for his comments when he said the afghans have been unshackled. i think they should be confronted with international isolation including the haqqani network including the taliban and tidied up.
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i agree with you. help make some sense of this to me. she is removing pakistan's status as a non-nato ali put what would be the rational -- the rationale? i think they should and they think they are assessing it but this is a good idea. the only time we have ever laid outla and a clear and realistic assessment of south asia and that strategy is with president trump's speech in august of 2017 pre- abandon it i think if you go back to that speech you probably call for suspension of citizens of pakistan until that -- afghan -- pakistan change its behavior. i know you can't answer for the
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biden administration but secretary blinken accepted as speaking -- from enron con and the prime minister pakistan is your baby caring about that is that an issue? is that something we should be concerned about it? >> i don't know anything about it but i hope that wouldn't be the case. but pakistan the person has the next question is ambassador crocker because he's been a lot more time there than i did. >> thank you mr. chair and i yield the balance. >> i now recognize representative keating for five
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minutes. >> i want her minded gentleman who just spoke that mr. blinken was in front of this committee and i questioned him about our relationship now t in pakistan d he gets it clearly that we have to reassess our relationship to her minded gentleman i just spoke before me. pakistan remains a problem. it's long-standing and by many accounts of negative. pakistan was one of then first o recognize it. and when you go back to 2001 afghanistan and the reconstruction starting around 2005 they were giving assistance
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by all accounts and i believe those accounts are accurate and indeed right up to this current change in the government and many people suggested they were their intelligence was indebted to them and clearly there were allegedly should shift to the haqqani network is one that is of great concern. you cope back to the branding of the name taliban. pakistan was involved in the actual name. i could go on and on but i want to go to mr. armitage and mr. crocker we have to reassess our relationship and that may affect their relations with india in some respects what could you comment on that? it's not just in a few months of this administration but for decades in this. with many administrations
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republican and democratic though i so i'de like your comments on that. >> mr. keating i don't think we have time. they have their own problems. right now it's one of my colleagues said earlier taliban is realizing their strategic desires for having taliban on their site but is not if the pakistanis -- i think they have limited themselves to kashmir and in kashmir blows up which i think it very well might in india china and pakistan who are all involved in this so i was not being facetious. i don't think we have enough time to do a reassessment. >> reclaiming my time. >> pakistan always points to
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their relationship with the taliban but they don't talk about the haqqani network either. they say oh their extremist here but they are corporative. i know for my own reflections with the haqqani network zone buset or crocker would you like to chime in on this reassessment >> certainly. i would agree with the point that mike colleagues just made. pakistan worked against us in some aspects but there's port for the taliban. earlier i tried to present it in july that we were going to walk out of any development. as satisfying as it would be to a lot of us to do something in pakistan i don't think we have the luxury.
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they are all worried over repercussions inside their own country and taliban so-called victory in afghanistan. we can say they deserve whatever they get but as the secretary said youit know the war in kashr will bring us a regional war. so i think reassessment is always good but let's reassess with a clear eye on the dangers that the taliban takeover of afghanistan creates throughout the region. we do not need destabilize pakistani state with nuclear weapons. >> mr. armacost if you'd like to add a thoughtt quickly. >> i've got 10 seconds left so i will heal back.
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the gentleman yields back and now i y. recognize the gentleman from california for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and secretary armitage you and i have some history and in your history is a little closer to a lot of the examples that we have used today. in the opening state meet submitted for the record you said the corrupt government of kabul was not worth the of afghan soldiers yet people in the taliban saw this and we did not. you stand by and share that statement that you put in the record. i n not only stand by that statement but i'd like to make it stronger.
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>> i'm going to give a summer tour goes because it's a good statement and i think it's going to stand but i think it also has to be new ones. during the time for example we were finally taking our men out of the philippines the philippines was not considered to be corrupt by many standardsu right? >> the senate voted it down. stand that but basically during the decades we are in the philippines rather than having you add what would you say during the years of march which was more than two decades of chiang kai-shek era a mottled
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democracy was south korea and the it's not a model democracy and we could go on about iran and the successes and the failures but including saigon the question is if that is the case and if that is the model of the government than are we in fact baysinger support for government on whether they are worthy or at their strategic interest in the long run against people such as iran and such as china and russia over fighting? it takes us back to her early careers when we were standing up against the soviet union and trying to take an opportunity for dozens of countries behind the iron curtainin to become fre
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and is our model based on the goal of freedom and opportunity in spite of failed government and failed leaders and are we going to make this based on whether or not people should be free because their leaders are sufficient to our standard? >> we make cold calculations of our national security and sometimes we like what we hear and sometimes we don't. president marcos you remember the new people's army was gaining strength and we were going to break it. we would lose their strategic position in the philippines. and nicole calculation of our national security -- i'm not saying we have to like or it might the leader but with that to understand their week points and we were not doing anything
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in my view that work on the week points apart government of the people in afghanistan. >> mr. secretary i would say from the beginning with the afghan leadership that was true colluding -- but within minutes i have remaining for each of the witnesses and do i understand correctly that our interest is in a freerer more secure world r cells herself and one in which human beings have a better opportunity many of them have very defective government and government by kings and dictators of all sorts today and if that's our goal then don't we have to in fact look at remaining with the military of forces if it means that in the long run we are moving toward a freer world and didn't we fail
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to do that for the 37 million people of afghanistan? >> i think we definitely failed in that endeavor and it's ironic that afghanistan had one of those rare inspections of our value of our national security interests. thereer are generations of afghs who had an open curriculum and school and that's a huge investment towards a more stable afghanistan in the longrun. that would enhance our values and we would walk away from it. >> thank you. i yield back mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for calling this
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hearing. and also make it clear that we remain engaged with their stakeholders in afghanistan so we can continue to have -- with religious minorities. my hope is that in the shadow of america's longest war there will be an opportune to scrutinize america waged war in afghanistan and how not to wage war in the future and for congress to take stock of our responsibility in terms of oversight for military actions. secretary armitage i'd like to begin with you. youu referenced the likeness between the corrupt nature of the national government of afghanistan. what lessons are there for us to learn and how we responded the open secrets that the afghanistan government has corruption have dubious military
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and congress address this issue more practically? >> thank you congressman. i think in a way you answered part of the question. there's a lot more congressional oversight and it's a sharpened point on our aim and is a --of mine wrote all wars must end -- if the definition if f. is insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different we were doing some insanity. we could equip them again and they don't need much help in shooting weapons. it's their willingness to die
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for their government. i understand that some of them thought hard but the big lists the -- lesson is we in our society are kind of blind to ethnicity and afghans and if they have a tajik leader in if they have a cause our commander, not good. so i think there are many questions and the real question is will we altogether learn of this? ambassador crocker what's important to members of congress as we get information on the military and we make judgments based on the information presented. i'm wondering how we can better
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promote information between the national security community and the state department and krump -- congress. the permission is given that's genuine of today and authentic even if it promotes consternation among others how would it help ensure the information is not via asked. every time is in afghanistan was given this description that we are making great progress. with true presence in more recesses -- resources how do we make judgments in conducting oversight based on accurate reliable information? >> it's a very interesting part proposition that would it require a complete overhaul of the way the demonstrations think of congress in think of their
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attendance and how they are promoted. clearly someone is called to testify and they are representing that. you don't know if you're going to get clearly an object to testimony from someone who was then the administration. i did tank and more pointed to insist their conversation in the demonstrations toward that end would be helpful. >> i just want to note ambassadors lute did you say the prior trump administration did not consult with our allies to negotiate the surrendered to the taliban and they learned about it by reading about it in the newspaper and if that's correct that's a big difference. can you describe what the impact
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of that is with our relationship with our allies? >> i encountered here at nato a lasting effect of the theory 2020 experience with allies first learning of the test of the agreement with the taliban by way of a media report and beyond that it would include -- include the supporting agreements. let me get this straight that better allies and been there for 20 years and that is going to have a lasting stain on our relationship.
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he can be repaired but it's going to take a lot of effort. >> thank you mr. chairman it. i yield back. >> the johnsons expired andnd i recognize represented adam kinzinger of illinois. san a few and thank everybody for being here. i'm going to say something that for some reason politics can understand that the african-american -- doesca which is joe biden bungled the execution and donald trump set it up to fail. i can't wait about it daily and expect any kind of a big deal. the other thing we hear about is the surrender and wish they would have foughtn harder.
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without logistics and air support. i think you would see military units break down. i think it's clear we surrenderedwn unnecessarily and president reagan said we could have a tomorrow i surrender. general mcmaster i read your piece and i fully recommend it but i want to ask you a couple of things. you disgust area of corruption and i want to ask you about that corruption and the taliban put it in a former afghan government because that's where a lot of our friends would come and say it wasn't worth it but can you talk about all the corruption
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and how we could have done it better? >> thank you this opportunity. once we realized it was a threat to the i state it was too little too late and many recommendations and make it past washington d.c. because we continue to -- but i think what's is poorly understood is where that corruption came from. it came from a short-term approach from a long-term afghanistan. afghans are asking who's got our back? nobody so what's going to happen? the war from 92 to 96. would we do about that? about that? we develop our war chest in advance. disincentivized the mujahideen militia to be empowered as the mechanism for the taliban in 2001 with our special forces and
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airpower to then morph into criminalizedo patronage -- it captured the nascent institutions and functions that were being rebuilt in the wake of the taliban and the destruction of those institutions and what those organizations did is they stole from the state and weakened the state. hamid karzai who's got my back? nobody. what he did is see steals in exchange for their political fealty so that's why these networks were hobbling out and weakening the state institutions that they were trying to build and we didn't take the time for the political drivers of this and the fundamental way to address it was a long-term commitment and orders that were necessary. these again afghanistan didn't need to be deadlocked. afghanistan just needed to beat
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afghanistan with a political settlement and put akel structure in place that was anti-jihadist terrorist and that's what we had and the reason why afghan forces collapsed and i go into great detail of this in my record we delivered psychological after psychological to them from the capitulation t agreement on intervention time allowing afghans to be part of that negotiation to forcing the afghan government to release 5000 most heinous people on earth who went in it may delay back to terrorizing the afghan people and announcing the data lowest drawl and the troop limits. that's capitulation is what that is and then what did the taliban do with that? they went to the afghan people may said this is how this is going to go. h the backing of the pakistani isi intertwined with the haqqani networkng and al qaeda they told
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those commanders hey listen if you accommodate with us we -- or we kill your family and how does that sound? tthat's why the afghan forces collapsed in addition to what you mention which is the withdrawal of our airpower which was the afghan forces differential advantage for theh taliban's different gilead vantage was the isi and other groups and it was there in scrupulousness and they are willing to terrorize. that's their differential of vantage so i don't think it's a mystery at all and they think it is -- it should be unacceptable i think to disparage the afghans and over 60,000 of them made the ultimate sacrifice and have those freedoms taken away. >> thank you sir. the dome of time has expired and i now work them -- recognize
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mr. -- i agree with the witnesses perspectives. i think you all present the complexity of building a successful government there and the like. given afghanistan -- of my subcommittee i'd like to focus my time on the current situation that we have and how we ought to think about approaching this and maybe ill start with ambassador crocker. i've had the right conversation saying while our relationship was at an all-time low this is a point in time where they have a step up like a government that's forming in afghanistan and going
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in the direction they would like in terms of the coalition but it's in pakistan's interest not to have a failed state in the civil war and a base of operation where networks can operate within pakistan. pakistan is a nuclear-armed country that i think we will see. i don't trust pakistan. they haven't been actors but from your assessment how should we work with the pakistan and if you had conversations that are helpful to us. you are seeing tensions on the project stand border with pakistan how do we avoid a full civil war? c the short answer is we probably cannot to stop a whole scale civil war but what we do need to do i think is talk to
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the regions starting with pakistan and that is the greatest danger. they have internal threats who are allegedly of their own making but it doesn't change the their stability is under greater threat than it has ever been. so starting a conversation with them let's analyze the threat and then let's talk about how it can be mitigated and expand that to the region. you know tajik a stand and all of those north of afghanistan need to be part of this conversation and i think in an ironic kind of way the american withdrawal and the chaos that surrounded it has gotten everybody's attention to say it
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out zero this may not be exactly the outcome we want and what are we going to do about it? maybe we can broker a set of conversations going along with the statements my colleagues have madee to day to see how can we can deal with the threat inside of afghanistan and? >> i would ask the other witnesses while we see the worst-case scenario with the taliban administration and maybe this is the taliban of the 1990s. afghanistan is not the afghanistan of the 1990s and i would say 20 years of education has empowered and change the people of again i hope that people don't
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just roll over on the brutality of the taliban. what can we do to support the people of afghanistan and trying to come up with a better outcome? >> congressman bera the most immediate challenges the humanitarian crisis. a combination of financial resources of financial resources and unvaccinated population and health concerns in a major drought and food insecurity at an all-time low and we have the taliban government that doesn't know how to govern. they know how to fight and they have proven effective of that but there's large-scale incompetence and those who
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experience in this government. the one thing i think we have to do typically at one point in earlyhe and hearing we have to includee the taliban is the process. if it plays out is forecast there will be a continuing -- so this is certainly not over especially as we go into the winter months in the harsh conditions of winter. >> my time has expired. steam is a gentleman's time has expired and i now recognize represented wagner from missouri the vice ranking member of the committee for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. this committee has a duty to tip the right oversight of the administration's disastrous
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withdrawal from afghanistan and they certainly are surely your attention to this critical issue. over the course of 20 long difficult years in afghanistan u.s. servicemembers restored the safety of the american hole homeland and made remarkable progress with respect to human rights prosperity and women's equality abroad. the biden administration's ill-advised disorganized and dishonorable frankly flight from afghanistan threaten to wipe away our progress. it is made america less safe and it has created a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions in afghanistan. in the heroin days following the 9/11 attack president bush declared war on terrorism and on
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august 31 of 2021 long after kabul brought us of 13 more ryoung servicemembers president biden declared the war over. but president biden's unilateral plan ignores the intentions of our adversary. aser long as they are not attacking the united states its people and its interest the war on terrorism must continue. and the present actions that made it much more difficult for the united states to effectively prosecute that war. general mcmaster howell will be administration's failure to secure intelligence and strike capability agree with third countries bordering afghanistan
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ssr counterterrorism posture and how can we best make up for lost time sir? >> thank you. it's not a theoretical or an academic case. he becomes orders of magnitude more dangerous. we know m september 11 was the most devastating terrorist act in history and we know it from the rise of late after we declared the war in iraq over and disengage from iraq as well as political and allow the policies of the iraqi frustration to become 2.0 which pic became isis and became the most destructive terrorist organization in history. 195 acts internationally at the brussels airport and the isis and start attacking san bernardino. what we have to do is redouble our efforts against these organizations integrating awful
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powers and the efforts of like-minded powers to isolate the sources of strength and support and its vulnerabilities not just militarily but financially and ideologically. i get the sense that we are disengaging. >> yes and my concern is that we havein no one in the region. we have discussed pakistan not being a reliable u.s. partner today. we need to develop those relationships and let me ask you again what should we expect to see from for instance the people's republic of china in its approach to pakistan moving forward posts u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan. how will they seek their point of interesthe given their situation on the ground in afghanistan what does that mean for the u.s. and their partners
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and especially especially the steak india. senator think it's an extremely dangerous situation this is a question that ambassador crocker could take on much more ably than i but i would take great glee it's in china's interest that the pakistani government and army go after these to hottest groups less selective when it's in the interest of the security and stability krusbe state and this kind of cycle of sectarian -- across the greater middle east that could be incited by groups like al qaeda and ie though. >> ambassador your thoughts? >> i would agree but the chinese have created oval or peru -- full mobility with the repression of their population in the west. they have a strong incentive i
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think to infuse the pressure to bring about a better result than we have seen so far. >> i yield back. >> i now recognize represented tide is from nevada for five minutes. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. so many the questions i've wondered about have argued unanswered and i appreciate that. one other thing i'd like to hear a little bit more from secretary armitage in your previous statement you met and they were severalre periods during her intervention in afghanistan that could have had potential points of departure. the first was after the bond agreement and you said there was no opposition to present karzai and little animists ignited states when afghanistan was at peace. when i would ask you and the other panelists will there be
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any plan when we got into afghanistan and why did we consider the bond agreement are some of these other points that youu mentioned? if iit told you anything but the was no exit strategy i be telling you a falsehood. we were on automatic pilot shortly after we have the success of the bonn agreement and would be of said congresswoman is absolutene correct. little animus towards us in what looked like was going to be karzai government and osama bin laden and some of his henchmen followedng shortly after the bombing would have been a perfect time to get the taliban to pull out and there are several others i would imagine.
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we didn't take advantage of any of them because of two s things. attention to iraq and second one to do that there wasn't enough center of gravity in the administration to steer things towards a successful -- in afghanistan but is difficult to do it simultaneously. >> we can't chew gum and walk at the same time? is that what you were getting at? i would ask the ambassador we keep hearing about the nation-building and how our focus changed and getting out qaeda and bin laden to this nation-building. we had all this usaid money and staff and personnel and resources they are trying to do
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these projects and summer in response to military acts. how can we have been more coordinated and better in our effort and one off across the spectrum? >> i would pick for first at that if i might. my colleagues is spoken of the ranting corruption in afghanistan and is certainly true in the same thing in iraq. actually worse because they have a lot more money. the hard truth is if you overthrow a regime its institutions such as they were and there've body of law goes with it so you are in a situation where there are no respect for rule of law because there isn't a rule of law and guaranteed you're going to get corruption. i hope we have learned that
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lesson to the extent that it deserveses and here it's broader than the special inspector general as significant as they may have been. it needs to be ranked up to the strategic level and some inspectors general report to congress we need to do something about that. in terms of coordination within the ministry should the military operation is a very short cycle. lots of money right now or immediate results. usaid is a very small fraction of the funding available and trying to operate on a longer-term so we will have to find a way to the military
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funding. >> i lots to, i'm sorry. >> would be the key element right away. >> you talk forr the has 15 seconds ambassador -- >> can you hear me now? >> yes we can. >> we need to find a better way to synchronize the military's paid for funding imperatives which are for results right now. and the u.s. a.i.d. focus so getting those together to create a whole of government effort would be an important task for congress to consider
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undertaking. >> thank you mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the gentlelady's time has expired and the gentleman yields back and i now represent mr. brian mast. >> some of you answered some questions and some of you have answered other questions. i'd like to get a survey because not everyone answered the same question about how you feel about some of the differentt occurrences. >> we lost you mr. mast? mr. matt -- mr. mast, we lost you. now you are back. >> we can hear you. i'm glad i'm back. thank you mr. chairman is going to go down the line in
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alphabeticalow order to mr. armitage and mr. lute. [inaudible] >> i think we have lost you again. mr. mast? i think we lost you. let's try it again. go ahead. >> pleaser be the question. >> i appreciate it mr. chairman. we can't lose to much. i want to ask president biden said in his inauguration on make mistakes in my make them i will knowledge them in i will tell
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you and we believe he acknowledged his mistakes with afghanistan. ambassador armitage? >> mr. mast eight think he made a value decision to get out. i don't think many people have owned up to it yet. >> thank you but ambassador crocker? >> i agree completely. >> thank you. ambassador lute? >> the buck stops here but it's not clear what happened to the book after stops in the presence correctiven seeing action that would indicate it. >> i don't think so. i'venk never seen such a disconnect between what our leaders tell us about what's happening in afghanistan during a crisis and what's actually happening on the ground and i think hypocrisy is reached an
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unprecedented level. or adherence to the time i make it to the taliban is part of our agreementt and human rights were an a important part of our poliy for example in the list goes on so i think it's tremendously disappointing. >> thank you gentlemen. the office of director of national intelligence said the talibann is likely to make gains on the battlefield in the afghan government struggled to hold the taliban at bay as the coalition withdrew support. you'll believe president biden received that result? it would be hard for me to believe congressman that he would have received it because we had been saying things of that nature is a bureaucracy since 2005 and 2006. >> ambassador crocker? >> i know little of how
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washington works and i wish i knew even less. i would not be aware of that. >> thank you sir. >> general? >> not at all. it's her with the process to give the president analysis and give the president multiple -- to take advantage of those options. ita don't know. >> thank you general. i want to move to another date april 14 president biden announced we would withdraw from afghanistan by september 11, the anniversary. you believe choosing that they was about optics ambassador armitage? >> congressman i believe taking september 11 was the a big red flag in front of a bull. ambassador crocker -- ambassador crocker? >> i felt like it was a physical
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when he named that date 20 years after the horrors of 9/11 that we all witnessed and that he would choose that date over all others for the final u.s. evacuation i think he realized it tove eventually and changed . >> i have no basis to judge why that day was chosen. it certainly didn't make sense. general? >> i think it was an affront to all those who served in making that announcement in arlington cemetery really reveals the astonishing misunderstanding of what it means to serve in our military and the fact that soldiers in airmen and marines don't want to be pitied. they want to achieve an outcome worthy of the sacrifices they make and were think it's worthnd pointing out september 11 is the the anniversary taliban -- for
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anybody missed it the taliban ran up stations in kabul. they blamed the united states for 9/11 and denied the fact that al qaeda had a role. >> i thank you all for your answers inim mr. chairman i believe my time has expired. >> the gentleman's time has expired and i know recognize representative hakim castro for five minutes. >> thank you gentlemen for your testimony and for being here with us virtually today. secretary armitage it's great to see again i think we saw each other in a dialogue three years ago and i've question for you. in your opening statement he mentioned the secretary of defense rumsfeld did not carry through on the elimination of
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the taliban in afghanistan and they were allowed to escape to pakistan following the campaign campaign to what he suspect secretary rumsfeld did not obliterate in this campaign and it was discussed there kunduz airlift approved of the plan to allow the pakistanis to evacuate pakistani officers indebted to the taliban back to safety from kunduz along with taliban and al qaeda fighters. what you -- can you tell us about the kunduz airlift in your thinking atth the time and the role pakistan played in keeping the taliban alive in those years? >> the latter part first congressman. pakistan provided food assessment and everything else is for the taliban speaking of isi effect that taliban was
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living in -- and the pakistani did know about it. i would be extraordinarilyou disappointed if i knew there was an agreement that the pakistan's embedded there would be allowed to escape however that's not saying there weren't pakistanis embedded. i've known him for a f number of years and he was killed ironically enough by extremis does group and why he did not persecute general franks i don't know but i would invite you to testify sir. >> thank you deputy secretary and for anyone on the panel as you look at gore the two decades of experience in afghanistan what do think we have accomplished and what opportunities were missed and what do you think are the main lessons learned from the
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american intervention in afghanistan on nation-building and providing government assistance on joint military operations in how they apply to other situations. i know you only have 2.5 minutes but i pose that to whoever would like to take a shot at any of the pieces of that question? >> the impact was through our support through education particularly female education. we have a generation that has grown up in a pre- environment about a curriculum that is not dictated by an autocrat. you haveoc an entire generationn their 20s and early 30s for whom the norm -- we just quit on them too soon before they were in a position to undertake a
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major societal change. >> if you'd like to weigh in on that congressman i think we use the 20 years to accomplish a great deal in terms of making our country more safe. with counterterrorism capabilities today but in terms of doing something about them it really stretches. here at home we are much harder target than we were on 9/11 and we have eliminated counterterrorism counterparts and we have to have the interest in decimating core al qaeda and the leadership on 9/11 was in afghanistan and pakistan. that part of al qaeda has been decimated. it's a fraction of what it was. we have w made ourselves safer n the last 20 years. the reason we are seeing attacks are because of our defensive
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capabilities. we are growing stronger and to get your question we are learning exactly the wrong lessons and a lot of the conventional wisdom about afghanistan is completely wrong and especially in connection with the idea that it's an word. it's never been an optional phase in war. you are doing a military. which is a short duration of a planned withdrawal. as it's been said we'd never been able to do it again i think it was our desire to not do it to disengage quickly that actually set us up for failure in the long term. >> i know recognize representative tim duncan of tennessee for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. can you'll hear me now?
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terror reports that the isis came in members killed 13 americans including one off my constituents with the united states m army and over 150 afghs at the international airport where the blogger mayor pays one date taliban took control. this terrible loss of life could have been prevented if the administration had transfer them to another location. what -- what he think there is no plan to secure aid -- for these prisoners? sully i think the mission given to the military is a question to ask her senior military and people like secretary austin. the mission wasn't to get every
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allied citizen ally who is helping us in the coalition or to get afghans out. the mission was and to mitigate what we knew was going to be a disaster. the mission was to withdraw and to adhere to these troops levels and once thates becomes your mission in the end you shouldn't be surprised by any of this. by that attack on the airport. it killed 13 of our servicemen and women and afghans and a coney was in charge of security at that airport. it was an attack network for over a decade and we think of these groups as distinct but they have large mitigation and cooperate with isis kaepernick think this was a deliberate effort to humiliate us and what
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we heard her leaders say we are cooperate with the taliban and that is stomach turning to all of us. we seeded our agency because we stuck with the surrender agreement and guess what happens when you started tataris? this is what happens. >> that leads to my next question you may have answered it has some of the others want to jump in that's fine. >> i guess that's pretty much in line with what you said and what any of the others like to comment on that? >> it's a question of the mission and the mission was as i understand it was to kick out under extremely dire circumstances americans than those who help with the american effort but if that's a the mission you have to talk to the taliban.o
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>> are the taliban instrumental in us of were they able to follow t along? say that i would be highly skeptical if that were thelo ca. that would have to be a question really for those directly involved in the operations. but i should point out that my phone is full is whatsapp messages from afghans and u.s. residents and u.s. citizens. >> you realized points and couldn't get out of many are still stranded about 1000 are stranded there now. the picture that was painted in press conferences in washington was completely opposite of what was going on in kabul. i'm sure many besides me have at the same experience indicating with afghans on the ground under those dire conditions during thr evacuations. >> the siv program has performed for more than a decade and we
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have never reached the quota and never paid attention to the red tape and bureaucracy. what's curious to me is after the doha agreement was signed with the taliban in 2020 that we did not at that point accelerate evacuations scale down their embassies because we have the president of the united states he said we are getting out on may 1 and itti turns out it was extended by several months but we hadr 18 months from february of 2020 to make progress on evacuations and so forth an american citizen evacuations. to this day and this is a day that reached my phone and h.r. there are 35 afghans who are acted duty servicemembers in the american military and they are leaders in afghanistan.
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there are hundreds of afghan commandos a fraction of the afghan army that did fight until the last day who are also not covered by the program and they are still in afghanistan for this program is bigger than currently advertise. >> we have 17 folks that -- >> you are now recognized for five minutes. .. >> you also mentioned that this
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is a time where we have the opportunity to give t people who have been left behind a voice. and specifically in your testimony that in 2001 only 800,000 children were in school, all of whom were boys, but in 2012 were girls.ho secondary schools for boys have opened, the taliban has not made any announcements about when girls will be allowed back in emschool. what recommendations would you have tooo offer ways to continue to support afghan women and minority groups and girls in the country, and what steps can we in the united states make to effectively engage the taliban onan humanitarian access particularly in regards to access to education? >> thank you, congresswoman. i think we need to start with an acknowledgment that we created this situation. afghanistan
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we were not forced out we just decided we were tired and thus we compare to accept that responsibility, that said you have to look forward, this is where we have to orchestrate a multilateral effort this is to the taliban if you do not do x, y, z you will get nothing from us there only getting humanitarian aid to step stiffen that this would be one of the most rare occasions we returned the united nations to press them
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to bring in a release form special representative of the secretary-general someone whom i've had the pleasure of working with in iraq and afghanistan i don't often have nice things to say about the united nations but someone himself to step in to run the operations on the ground in the taliban overreach, that is what i would pose at this point. >> if it is okay if i ask a second question unrelated to the first i am curious what remains of my time how well prepared and willing to afghan forces for various point time in the last 20 years of the conflict what remains of my time, just how well prepared during the time that you served in afghanistan, was there any point during that time were the afghan forces could've held against the taliban takeover and all-star if
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it's okay. >> i don't think they could've stood up on their own completely we have never completed supply systems where they were in charge, much of made other aviation activity so noteworthy, i don't think they were able to stand up. >> mr. mcmaster on that question would you point when you thought during your service in the region. >> in the state institutions because of the weakness gave impunity to steal and build up the power base in the u.s. afghanistan that did not remain static, there was progress made
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especially in the defense after that especially in the special operations forces, no time that i am aware of could afghan forces have withstood the orchestrated isi which you mentioned, the isi plan against afghan government and security forces have about during your time. >> we got off to a very slow start we didn't begin to invest in the national security forces until the end of the bush administration in the first several years. >> my time is expired, i appreciate your time and i yield back. >> the gentlelady yields back i recognize mark green of the western hemisphere of security migration and economic policy for five minutes. >> thank you chairman and ranking member thank you to our witnesses for being here and testifying but more importantly
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in the execution to withdraw has left us wounded and most important he left american citizens behind enemy lines, 20 years of mistakes are not an excuse for about withdraw and certainly does not justify the materials $85 billion worth given to a terrorist organization today i would like to focus on the future, my question is for you i would like to ask a satellite view question and i enjoyed your book, one of the points that you made the u.s. has had 21 year-long strategies throughout the war, also the past ten years the party seems to be dividing etiologically there is overlap then there was ten years ago given her history in our division which by the way of strategic partners are zeroing in on how do we draft long-term
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strategy not just specific to this region although this region is critical, how is the nation to become together and look at having a long-term strategy. >> thank you started leadership at the presidential level in the national security structure run by the national security advisor to coordinate efforts to first understand the complex challenges we are facing internationally this is a step that is skipped i think it was skipped too often in afghanistan we contradict the enemy rather than actual enemy we were providing and much worse strategy was based on that also based on unrealistic assumptions what drove the pakistani leadership in this behavior. i think the complex challenges design thinking and what's really important for americans today across the political
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spectrum is to understand why in the hell do i care about this, viewing that challenge and clearly articulated goals and more specific objectives, the step that is skipped often times it comes back to bite us is assumptions assumptions about the degree to which we like-minded partners have agency and influences and of course identifying opportunities and obstacles to overcome and then you can frame out a strategy in a meaningful discussion about what the american people need to know more than anything what is at stake in what is a strategy that will deliver a favorable outcome of an acceptable cause at risk that has been missing and that's a confidence i've been talking about and i allude to in the statement for record. >> thank you for the answer on that one of the things that myself and the colleague across the aisle, dean phillips were
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creating this thing called a general club were democrats and republicans sit down instead of getting to five minutes where we bomb questions we actually have a dialogue in my question to all of our witnesses we will have our first one coming up next month and richard haas has agreed to bring one of the articles that he written to that and discuss it i send all the invitations to my colleagues on the panel and i know dean does on the committee, my question to all of you would you consider joining us as a guest speaker on whatever future journal clubs? >> i would be honored. >> thank you for that, the goal is dialogue, first to have an effective strategy of the nation we have to agree on some stuff and talk about what we do not agree on and then maybe we won't
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wind up like we have the last 20 years with a new strategy every year. do i have any time left? >> thank you, mr. chairman. [inaudible] >> i don't of you can understand that you broke up. >> i'll ask you again, real quickly how is the prc and pakistan going to change and how is the prc relationship going to change under the new reality? . . .
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>> they are fighting with each other. >> very quickly maybe the question will be out there and you can get back with me off-line and i suggest that northwest india as a vocation those that wound up on the today show in india but i would love to get your thoughts perhaps in writing to the idea of northwest india for over the horizon. >> and i now recognize the
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gentleman from minnesota for five minutes. >> speaking to my friend and colleague for extending that indic invitation i accept that i look forward to you joining us. want to thank all of our witnesses for your service to our great nation in my colleagues many of whom are on this call wearing the uniform making sacrifices for all of us want to remind all of us there are thousands of folks or families out there as we talked about afghanistan and secretary armitage on how corruption undermines her efforts around the world and in afghanistan and other parts of the globe. i appreciate your earlier comments how we need to review
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and affirm our national interest and increase congressional oversight relative to corruption and how we distribute our financial resources around the world. most of you know the 2018 requires state dod and usaid has a joint strategy limit contingency operations a report in june 2018 over 3 years ago and has yet to receive it. had to receive it in with the special inspector general and is still awaiting that corruption is undermining the efforts of must be addressed. >> you also made an astute observation one of the reasons we failed to leave afghanistan sooner was the result with political theater losing a war so that they can keep up the
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fight to critically review our interest in the effort would have benefited from more intense congressional oversight. i agree with you i think hearing congress so with that in mind what you think congress should have done ten or 15 years ago to address that political cost especially those who campaign to be tougher national security and what should congress be pursuing as we move forward? >> i might be a victim of my past and the chief of staff now. but i do want to mention if not just a matter in my view but also the armed services committee it's a different kind of corruption most of us think of money hard to get the
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payout so that's another kind of corruption corruption in the armed forces how many armed leaders are there in afghanistan? but then to know that number scott miller that means i have to get my merit badge now so a lot of our activities which is a corruption of armed forces. and that's what we needed to do so don't pigeonhole.
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>> just to go on the record to reject that for what they did for a merit badge? did you just say that? really quick. >> not only said i will repeat it again. >> i would like to reclaim my time mr. mcmaster i like to hear your perspective family have 40 seconds. >> so this idea of over optimism and biases clearly there that any senior commander is there to do anything but to accomplish the mission and is disparaging in reality because i do think that there was a tendency to show progress is not a new phenomenon a word about this with the vietnam war but one
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of my jobs was to pull the curtain back on corruption of state institutions and functions in afghanistan network is available he can get it declassified and no effort to cover that up because washington again created the third evolution what they wanted that was because they are prioritizing getting the hell out so the danger is we will learn exactly the wrong lesson when the fact is we took a long-term approach to a short-term a problem. >> . >> i yield back. >> thank you mr. chairman i do appreciate my colleagues. thank you very much for your
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testimony and i consider to be an honorable and response this year. that being said the biden administration so execution has been a disastrous situation with terrible consequences. those with deep terrorist ties are now beating afghanistan gives us great reason for a grave concern. ambassador crocker you and the ranking member of the op-ed in "the new york times" to say it is likely the taliban would take control of the country to urge the biden administration to can —- to protect the embassy based on the testimony last week general mckinsey recommended leaving 2500 troops which would have been enough.
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>> so what did you know the biden administration did not know work knowledge? >> i cannot speak to what the administration did or did not know where did or did not do clearly but it seems to me that president was determined to get out of afghanistan. period. to get off his plate but then someone else can worry about it. and that blinded him to some of the obvious consequences. >> and then to be over by a terrorist group and that's hard to digest. the general mcmaster you also wrote her op-ed with the biden
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administration's plan so why in your view to the biden administration proceed with withdrawal as planned? what is your thought? with a proceed with the information at hand? >> i do think it was because they prioritize the withdrawal as ambassador crocker said and what with a disastrous consequences. >> in the whole idea we had to adhere to it they were breaking since february 2020.
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with the intimidation began and then we had to the taliban is just ludicrous. >> what about accountability? and then you see the colonel is receiving accountability that granted we know there were some violations in there and the treatises were overly harsh to say the least but but what has occurred here in the aftermath and in the withdrawal in the depths of soldiers and then those who
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make decisions to continue to ec any accountability? >> what is military to keep the ball line with partisan politics and political issues or just political issues for the lieutenant colonel's to make policy. it's important for those who are serving in uniform to understand their role and what their role is it is to do the best they can to execute at the lower levels but also to give your chain of command the best advice. if you think is something is really screwed up you do at your chain of command. because you're not accountable to the american people to do that to have a loud voice influences policy has a serving military officer undermine the constitution of the united states. some of the hearings in the
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senate and just trying to determine what is the best military advice? and how vietnam became an american war and during that period went and johnson got the military advice he wanted to structure what he wanted to get what he wanted to hear. was that the case of biden? i don't know and certainly congress will help determine better how these decisions are made and was given. >> i yield back. >> . >> . >> and then to discuss those 20 years in afghanistan so the easy reach here is to attack president biden and the withdrawal that the last seven
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or not but we should be talking about here in the siding. we need to learn some lessons to help us learn how not to get her cell stuck in another couple decades of nationbuilding or whatever we were trying to do in another region of the world. we do need to have level setting so we have to listen to people speak first so the american people watching this the last few months in context the president biden took office still in terms of men and territory since the invasion. and added truth level that was know not to be sustainable in
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the previous president had talked about to be sustainable but difficult to reverse and their the afghan government as we have discussed with critical corruption to be broadly seen as a legitimate so a discussion and tries to educate the status quo but then they changed a few thousand americans as deeply disagree with. >> in 20 years is a long time to be patient. but it was time to end the longest conflict. want to talk about how we ended up in such a long conflict.
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what do you think we were doing the last ten years in november 2019 was clear to me the military period any mission that we gave them. with a afghan special forces were very good at their job as well. but to degrade the taliban and more folks joining their side at times gaining strength and territory despite the fact they cannot compete with us any shape or form militarily. so i'm wondering how we can best going forward to provide oversight and then to help us
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understand where the points of entry are back to the 2009 debate around the surge that he was supportive of
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that i
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went to a congressman i reason why, not to be committed to that outcome but seriously professing the priority withdrawal i would say, congressman, that the reason why not trying to win n but the taliban came up with one. >> we have to recognize that we lack the sustained commitment and in doing so we emboldened our enemies and created a crisis of confidence whether allies and partners. >> i have to disagree with you a little bit. yes we shifted too many resources away under false pretenses and we had a yearly
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strategy you say it is a military victory but after 20 years spent the gentleman's time is expired. >> i yield back. >> representative young the vice ranking member for >> you're recognized for five minutes pretty. >> thank you. i really want to thank our witnesses today for your responses and asking and answering my questions and appreciate this conversation but i want to discuss the policy moving forward which is the focus of our hearing today. and maintaining the strikes made on many vulnerable populations especially women and girls their success was due to our
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protection and support in the shape of threats from the taliban. now that we have fully withdrawn, was can the u.s. utilize to defend the gains for the women and girls in the antaliban controls in afghanist. >> sadly, those tools i think are very few and far between and we give them agency in afghanistan, the mere presence there is no longer engaged in combat was enough to sustain the efforts that women were making on their own behalf. we give that up week and it is not replaceable so the best that i can come up with for the u.s. to orchestrate an international effort that will have many voices speaking, as many as possible that there watching and
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again, as hard thing because the administration simply wants to change the subject. and if they are ablehe to do th, there's not much we can do. >> will let me focus on that, the biden administration has said that it will continue to meet the needs of the afghan people and so then how can we effectively provided assistance with the needs of the afghan people that benefiting a regimen to sizing the taliban control government. >> i suggested earlier, that consultation with united nations and some parts of the human are effective for the most effective in my experience is the food program the executive director is american. and always has been. and so that is an agency that's at the core of humanitarian efforts with united nations that
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is a pretty track record in one again where the top person is a citizen. t and we need to a special representative of the secretary-general into kabul who is somewhat of a strength and integrity and someone we can work with. and so that i think that we can certainly help support international effort on humanitarian relief that is not empower the taliban. >> short, and focus on the action the needs of the afghan people and tell them and al qaeda and entering in and entered into afghanistan pretty. >> yes and that is the right person because what we have seen in the past with these operations left to themselves, they are likely to - if it takes
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the taliban, they are likely to do it. that is crucial to do upfront pretty. >> short the me ask, as you know the afghanistan on the province. [inaudible]. and the ccp and what is the state in afghanistan and indent taliban rule and seeking from the taliban with respect to them and this is very important for me as i am the sponsor of this act out of the committee last week. it's an important issue. >> is important and important to me as well pretty i was responsible in a large way during the bush administration it for the extraction of the enr and most were killed. and i think they ones in afghanistan and for the rigors
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is very dim and also it seems to be sort of an acceleration of the stories coming out of china read and the terrible conditions in the number that attention and what happens to them and it seems to me that this is going to be as it should be, a way to with. >> it was, i wanted to throw in another question, do you see the prospect of salvaging this in afghanistan in the wake of u.s. withdrawal? [inaudible]. >> the gentlemen's time has expired and we won't have time to get that one in the now recognize abigail of virginia the vice chair of the subcommittee environment and cyber for five minutes. >> thank you so much, 20 years
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ago the 2001 from authorization use of military force broadly written and since then, i authorization is been used by the administrations authorities for many years to expand operations across the country's really could've in the wake of 911 and building upon the conversation that we have had today and answers that you all have given it, and curious secretary, if you could comment a little bit that if the 2001, had been more narrower in scope, do you believe that congress and executive branch focus our strategy in afghanistan chemical asking this question is we continue to talk about this off the books but also proactively looking to the future, i would like to know if there are things that we could've done better that we indeed have learned from the past pretty. >> like as a given my previous comments, is been great to have
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oversight and i think honestly the success of the administration benefits from good and solid oversight and i think that even with the narrow from the af, that because we all probably you yourself as described this is a good war, versus the other which is a bed were which is kind of hard for members of congress in the early centers to stand up against it and i appreciate that so i think we have to start from a different spot. and of members of congress, one member or another today, i've asked the administration that is in a letter there and i do not answer so when are you going to do about this. >> so little bit of follow-up on that, reauthorization requirements, do you think you could help ensure that we were
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not really running on autopilot in reference to some of what we saw in the united states towards iraq and away from afghanistan and do you think that the authorization requirements would've been like enforcing mechanism positive or negative and what are your thoughts on that ? >> my view is that congress had more than sufficient ability to work there will if they would and it's a power of the purse and have been astonished as sitting on here watching people from congress say that oh yeah, i wrote a letter they wrote me an answer three months ago or six months ago. well so, do something about it and talk to your friends on the appropriations committee so don't thinkn necessarily the reauthorization would've done the job and i think it takes congress and him j and saying
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here's what we see is the power of the first and here's what we must do pretty. >> thank you an investor, you executive secretary commented on how the united states did improperly or realistically assess the situation on the ground or really filled polls were feasible you noted there was humility factoring into some of theseil assessments and can u ssdiscuss how these perhaps rose assessments especially regarding what was achieved might've had the idea that significant gains were always around the corner and reflecting on what the secretary just that in terms of this oversight the congressy could have no use the word should have been doing and how can we have cut through some of these rosier assessments? >> i think the current trend that was after the quick fold in 2001 and the political of coming
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out and transitioning and revocation of the afghan constitution and the fact this is a security area and later the 102 and one oh three, and up until the time that we paid attention to a rock and for optimism in sort of overly ambitious goals. and the problem is that we did not adequately in my view, challenge these goals over time as the situation changed it and we retain for too long lofty when we were diverted to iraq and when we began to learn more about the underlying conditions in afghanistan for the corruptions and so forth and we took our time and so over time, between what we are trying to achieve in the resources we work mostly involved in.
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so those were the most fundamental in the first six or eight years pretty greatly appreciate your feedback and their answers to my a questions and thank you all for being here and healed back. >> i now recognize and can recognize and experts in the michigan for five minutes. >> thank you for holiness hearing today and to our witnesses that actually for the follow-up on something that was said about specifically about the response and obviously the power of the purse is a powerful one in the way that is often times with the mba in the political gains around that and you but against you, you vote against pay raises for the troops, is very easy attack on his specifically though, if anne-marie congress when they had to have had an up or down vote on whether or not to continue the post 911, do you
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think that would have source the political courage in terms of punching on and asking these difficult questions and then commercial even if the questions are the great, at least having d charm and the pencils and better articulate an argument for what the strategy is and where things are going. >> my sentences that you could have in the could've been a long time for questions and i think that most people in the executive branch after a while start to view these hearings because they can while i know a pretty good bit about the subject matter so let's have added that's a good healthy attitude and i don't think reauthorization itself when necessarily brought forth the
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desire redo and have resulted because what he said. that if you don't want to think the members of congress themselves felt strongly about afghanistan. now iraq, yes. of course. >> and i want to touch on some of the other panelists as well, it strikes me and then general mcmaster, only come to you on this, i think that there is this and conveyed in infant conveyed in the world sustainable, troop presence was sustainable of four looking at is solely through the lens of american casualties, that i think that is a very appropriate understanding viewed from the lens of the american national security forces casualties which in 2015 and onwards where in the u.s. losses in world war ii for the afghan military.
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but i think more critically to have a conflict was portrayed, the civilian fatalities were quite high even under the best of circumstances there were conducting the majority of the operations. when that was headed over to afghan air force, the airstrikes they really skyrocketed and farmers constrained. how do you look at civilian casualties and especially considering the smoke and that we saw in the final days prior to the withdrawal of the killing of an aid worker and an applicant and seven young children inpp the strike that general million initial portrayed as a racist strike and how do you think that affected our perception and our ability hto be effective and in afghanistan predict. >> of course is a negative effect in the standard, you
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can't go wrong with this and right, it is about discrimination it and proportionality and so important to how many troops we have no wish we would stop talking about troop numbers, who caresan if is a thousand or 10,012,000 pretty it woulde make a difference we were ecuador but were not as important with what the troops e doing is important aspect to question if the strips are integrated with the afghans forces were they could provide advice and are fires to bear and precise matter untilgi we couldo that in a mature matter, that's what saves civilian lives and makes those forces much more effective than it was in the years that we said the taliban is not a declared enemy anymore and sitting across the table from them while the taliban were continuing killing our forces. it we weren't even actively pursuing them as an enemy's other always reacting and then we work forward to be able to be
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there effectively. >> i apologize been running low on time i just want to pull up the msr report, pretty thank you so more in line with where the average afghan is, the telemedie the formeril government? >> will the former government given what we have already aided in the demonstrations on the streets by women for example to give the taliban would have to say the previous administration. >> my time has expired and i yield back. >> i am here and i did not hear you calling me mr. chairman and thank you so much.
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and i'm going to pick up where you just left off and whereas in as were to move forward with the secretary has called the new diplomatic admission it with respect to afghanistan, one of the most important steps that we can take in coordination with art alava and her allies and partners conveyed to the taliban the importance of protecting human rights especially the rights of women and girls and i said, what can we do to convey to them but also what can we do to insist upon it. >> this is gotta be be a multi national effort, just cannot be united states declaring and we seen some progress coming out of security counsel at the hewitt and meetings at the g20, and the g7 should weigh in on this in the administration should be in the space and that the international set of demands
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require the taliban and actually hold the taliban to what they said that they were going to do which they have not yet done. and i hope the taliban joining the governance under these very tough conditions but they have recognized that they can't make it moving forward without international support and we can report that until they do with they say they're going to do and with one exception and that is to have assistance from the channel to the hamlet humanitarian assistance to the afghan people to other organizations that don't get pilfered off by the telemedicine that can be very difficult. >> do you think that is possible you said it would be very difficult but is it possible ? >> is like the strikes will be
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difficult but i think it's absolutely will first of all the afghan people will continue to suffer the previous congress person mentioned it that the casualties and so forth and there's going to be a lot of casualties from humanitarian issues the upcoming winter months and those casualties are going to be i think perceived global is pulling her feet and i think as we are as hard asan response ability to step up and to lead the effort and the whole the taliban to the fire and do what we can to respond as a humanitarian. >> all in reference the extraordinary levels of corruption that were reported through the media but based on extensive unit interviews with the military officials wanted that i find to be of particular interest was december 2019, in
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the article outlines how is a matter of policy and officials not only with the combat or effectively combat corruption but failed a more distressing that it was in fact possible for feeling the corruption by r dolg out vast sums of money for with limited with little regard to consequences. at the media reports from 2017 and cover that afghanistan's first following the over toe of the taliban, president carbide was cia's payroll allegedly pressley receiving millions of dollars in cashll in your view, was that the practice accountable with building strong and independent institutions in afghanistan if not, what was the agenda. >> we've covered this in some ov the earlier questions, it was uneven over the years so this is not a sustained flow amount of money are major funds but there
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was an often on approach to generate fortify stability by way of funding particular workers and warlords and so forth and prop up the government by way of funding. and i think the capacity of afghanistan power, need to come and play here. and we are introducing hundreds of millions of dollars into that economy. so to your previous, that is a recipe for corruption and i don't think we clearly appreciated that for theru depth the corruption even though our honest efforts like the one that hr mcmaster in afghanistan did. >> thank you and with that i
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yield back. >> i have recognized the next person for five minutes. thank you nine want to start by pushing back on the comment that my friend made at the very beginning of this hearing when he suggested that trump's deal with the taliban was the president trump would never have withdrawn our troops which i thank you so the pretty shameless revisionism and the conditions and ideals i think all of us here know pretty much limited to the taliban not shooting at our troops as we left alongside fairly vague and unenforceable promises not to help al qaeda strike the u.s. homeland from afghan soil. as we all know, is been widely reported the former president trump was off girl and try to
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withdrawal but even in the final days of his administration would've been no evacuation and it would've been absolutely none of the effort that this administration made as inadequate as it was. in light of that and many other things, i think with the biden administration, do sympathize with the dilemma the present biden face with a terrible deal and i sympathize with the frustration that i think he felt with the arguments that were most commonly made for staying in afghanistan longer it seems my experience those arguments over three administrations made by the pentagon and by former diplomats like myself generally mounted to the president to give us one for here and one more position. and i think the president of biden was appropriately cynical of those kinds of arguments. a better argument i think what
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event essentially the arguments that the ambassador made today that what we lacked was patients and what we needed was a recognition that just because we could not fix everything that was wrong with afghanistan, didn't mean to sacrifice everything that was right and that this was something that could've been managed over many years and satisfying that arguments would've been i think the right argument in the better argument. and i wonder, is served multiple administrations and without argument, to any sitting president and a forcible way that we should just stay because that's what her interest demanded. >> are you able to hear me, i'm having audio problems and yes, to my book when president obama
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asked me to go to afghanistan, and discussion before i left for kabul, he told me what he wanted me to do. two things one tactical, and repair the relationship with present and i had known him right from the beginning. and second, to negotiate a long-term strategic with that the president himself good come to kabul and sign. and he did so in may of 2012, that is a clear impression that i got from him at the beginning, while we were doing these negotiations when he came out to sign, was that president was looking at this long-term and that it seemed in the instructions on the agreement that was the notion that we
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would be around whatever might be considered necessary indefinitely. so i came away from that when i returned to afghanistan feeling like we had really had a solid condition based approach that was in with respect to the security forces in afghanistan, endorsed by chicago of may of 2012 just ten days after the agreement was signed and which nato committed itself to sustaining roughly 25000 afghan troops in the out years. >> i guess again, and i think that but i wish we had subjected our withdrawal date would think that should be a testimony decision in american foreign-policy and doesn't make
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us better off or worse off i can think of about 20 ways in which the withdrawal and collapse of the government and victory of the taliban has made us worse off and can't actually think completely of a sigmoid which is made us better in her troops are still in the region conducting the same mission not coming home we've lost partner and it has to be the only benefit to the united states that were gaining tens of thousands of new americans, the afghans will be great americans in such a loss to their country sorely not anything we would've wish and thank you so much and i yield back. >> now recognize the next person of california the vice chair of the subcommittee of internationalic development and global corporate social for five minutes. i think this conversation is
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incredibly important and i want to start with you investor, since you wanted the folks to have said in the last question that we should have left afghanistan indefinitely and i wanted to first ask you a quick questions that if you could quick answer is most of the weekend is more because the time is short. do you believe in the terrorist threat is greater than the wise in afghanistan over the last 20 years. >> had no way of measuring that and they is significant in both countries printed. >> okay, small you are syria. >> likewise, have no basis of knowledge in those countries and what i would say in fact that theoretical in those countries and afghanistan, we were hitting on 911 file kind of which no returning covered by the taliban. >> my analysis is this is emanating from these places much
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more real early so at least the last 15 years recognizing that 20 years ago there was an attack and i sincerely hope no one is suggesting a military intervention we should exercise any of those countries and the reason i am asking about this effort is because i'm trying to understand what you believe that inde indefinite continuation of this war is in the best international interests because september 11th happened when i was in middle school my generation has literally our entire lives that all the military needs is more resources and time in the august loss of work is because it made us safer despite more reports of the opposite. i know there were talks of strategic on whether or not we are better off. and less of our military families in a very proud to
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represent, but i want to us now but the key decisions that were determinative in this outcome suffers in 2001, the mission ministration rejected 2 a negotiated settlements with the taliban and they said an arrangement where a dignity would not be acceptable for unit ... ... i will have to say we did give the taliban at the president b heston. second of all, we did not during the aforementioned bond process we did not even consider the taliban they were
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through it was over we did not try to have a negotiated settlement. for about 2005 on it was quite clear the taliban itself had come to the conclusion our legs were long enough for the journey we were going to be on. >> i was having my bar mitzvah in 2002. for my estimation after 20 years of fighting the ended up with a stronger taliban till we could of got into thousand two. we've already gone over many other moments like this. just lastly, early on and our engagement afghanistan it became clear security interest such as corruption many people talked about today. we have relied on local arms faction which have been efficientit marrow terribly we
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know that in addition to this corruption and failing to prevent civilian cattle teaser mr. drone strikes but the recruitment efforts. again after 20 years we ended up with a stronger taliban were sealed me could have gotten before and enabled for terrorists which is supposedly why we're there in the first place. the entire time it kept pouring money into this effort. truly believe the biden administration wasmi right to leave on with that i will mr. chairman i will yield back. >> the gentleman yields back a balance of his temper i represented of north carolina has the vice chair of the subcommittee and global counterterrorism for five minutes. >> thank you chairman and ranking member for holding this very important hearing.s ita like to thank our witnesses for their service to our
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country who are peering here today and staying for those of us at the end of the ranking can ask our questions. general mcmaster you have stated administration after administration made fundamental mistakes that lead to catastrophic results we are now facing. in your opinion of the fundamental flaws in our system to allow these mistakes to be made that delivers best analysis from fundamentally struck flawed strategies as representative of what some people in the intelligence community thought identify with the victim there's
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intelligence that's developed over times based on wishful thinking. announce the schedule for the withdraw and then enter in a negotiation. there is a problem with the fragmented way is a structural change that needs to be made to avoid that fragmented of evidence. i can help the president make the best decision pretty think we put that in place in 2017 -- 2018. i think that is why president trump made the decision he did for sustainable long-term commitment.
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in that speech he gave on the south asia strategy. >> the process didn't work he turned around for a. >> you're right it turned out to be unsustainable. it turned out to be unsustainable. so ultimately i think it's not a process. it is leadership most americans would sustain that should not be surprising with three presidents in a row they should prioritize the sustain commitment. they compare the withdrawal to what they were preventing. represented jacobs as well was it worth it? what can be achieved? as we see the freedoms of the afghan people distinguish and the terror state being reestablished in afghanistan for a. >> thank sir. you stated in response at the
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beginning of the hearing that was 2500 troops in afghanistan we could have leading 2500 troops would have been the best way to deal with afghanistan and could the u.s. have been maintained as status quo indefinitely? what would have been the long-term duties of the u.s. military. >> the long-term duties they should evolve over time and change and conditions. the commitment i was talking about, by the way i said 2500 is probably too small. i take general mcmaster's point we do not need to be document numbers but missions. we have not been involved in combat organizations for your half. that is thehe kind of mission
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that was sustainable. again i say detailed uncontrolled mill had 2500 for. >> let me ask one more question you stated in response to ranking member mccall who took up quality of education and develop careers and instead we left them behind. are you saying we should have all afghan people come to the u.s.? >> certainly not congresswoman. but it is dollars away at me. maybe it's a mistake to start with girls education but maybe it was a major mistake to not encourage women to enter the political process knowing our presence was something of a guaranteed they could do so positively and not lose their lives.
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that is the burden i have to carry and help some of the folks who make political decisions back in washington would benefit seeing his women and girls of face-to-face. >> my timeig has expired i yield back. i see mr. costs that you have a question. >> thank you sir chairman and for this important for the american people and for the future of the committee would provide the oversight on the 20 years we spent in afghanistan. listening to the testimony want to thank you for your service to the country. it's very clear that what we have are inconsistencies on goals and expectations. in the policies that were
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implemented to try to obtain those goals. your definition of going crazy is applicable here. the examples we used previously about successes and other parts of the world whether it be south korea, parts of south america, i think we need to keep in mind in many of those instances there's a reason we sit in the long haul and south korea as well as taiwan and part of the part of her own neighborhood. back in 2005 and later on in iraq, many of us have had multiple trips in that part of
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the world. i clearly early on new we could not look at this of the lens. we need to understand that part of the world its first family, then tribe, tribe determines religion. corruption is a constant. i told prime minister my first met in 2006 who's going to try to create constitutions but corruption in his part of the world is not endemic was a way of life which it is. and so i remember in a meeting discussing american elections in 2008, and the republican and democratic race i said you know i could wish could be elected president to afghanistan it gets back to family, tribe, religion and the corruption.
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what are the lessons to be learned from all of this? that would have success in afghanistan after willing to commit as we have for south korea. we still have troops in south korea. the same emphasis i don't think is relative's can be politically at home. with your vast experience thank you congressman. i think i learned may be two important things in almost 40 years in the foreign service. the first one is be careful what you get into. that is a military involvement because you will see consequences not just the third and fourth order but things you cannot possibly
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predict. the second is be careful what you get out of it. the consequence of withdrawing can be as great or greater than the consequences of your originalha intervention. >> if you go and you better have a get out strategy. ambassador lessons to be learned? >> congressmen and short set realistic objectives. be ready to generate the resources those objectives require. don't over rely on the military alone its group to be counterproductive. then generate the alliance supports were not doing this by yourself. ambassador? >> seems to me my enemy is not necessarily my friend if they don't share our general value. second, it seems to meet with got to make a determination if there are things others can provide or can only we
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provided in a given situation? and third and last it seems to me we have to make a decision elected members and the public. american boys, local boys they should be able to carry rifles as well as american boys break the answer that a yes maybe they ought to slow down. >> will thank you. ambassador mcmaster my time has expired but i talk about inconsistencies. there was inconsistencies within the administration that served how do you avoid that? >> the congressman's time has expired. now recognize patrick of pennsylvania member of the subcommittee on five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to all the panelists were being here with us today. we are going to start mr. mcmaster preclude there's a ton of t experience in this
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room sir. i want to focus on the issue and what possible if any, what are our options? if you talk about the program that you can in the setting where we are marching them from now and how much flight time requires to and from the target pakistan obviously afghanistan g, how much has our capability be be diminished and how could be possibly make up for that? >> it is significant because there's a much less on station. muchim fewer that you can watch to really conduct the surveillance in the collection. also when we left afghanistan we gave the airspace to a jihadist terrorist
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government. i don't begin one's talking about that at all. how can weight routinely access that airspace is that practical or will this administration have the will to do so forcefully if necessary? i think we've lost a great deal more axis than we are admitting to. not only from ourf friends who we abandon their but the best intelligence collection from a human standpoint better access to collect surveillance and communication asce well. >> what percent of the energy source is considered travel time? >> that's a better question for the department of defense. we've launched those based on aircraft from many different locations. it will be the next best thing to us so for us to acquire a
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presence in the region? >> i just do not know enough about it and he would provide that access. there are risks for those who host us now. part of the problem is the belief that maybe we are not in it forde the long haul. we would abandon whoever we partner with in a way similar to the way we abandon afghanistan. >> and the withdrawal plan in any way resemble what we saw manifest fundamentally sound and made a very good decision. i by the ambassadors sent on a mission that resulted in capitulation.
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>> the final question,ad president biden said nobody supported in our withdrawal from afghanistan then russia and china that he says share that assessment? >> i do not share that assessment think china and russia are very happy we get out but it's one of the talking points forever. it's been part of their disinformation campaign. most of russia's disinformation campaign is dividing us over race, integration, gun control, reducing our confidence and are principles and processes and the outcome of elections. they were policy related with russia's disinformation campaign they're focused on getting us out of afghanistan and get us out of sierra. i think this is a really important point. this idea getting out of afghanistan i think china's
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action is central asia they are trying to create the same kind of exclusionary area as they are in the south china sea. this is where ambassador crocker is very well qualified to w comment. >> in my experience, which is now dated and pakistan and afghanistan. the view at that time is that the chinese are doing too much it was that they were doing too little. they had the main contract in pakistan and committed to building a rail and links as part of that project that would improve the ability of the pakistani government to communicate with its own providences. they did not build those roads and railroads paired with the copper they got people's comic
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goods and security forces when necessary. they did not do that either. m while it may seem illogical they're trying to develop an t exclusion zone they are not doing the kind of projects that would increase their inputs. >> thank you sir, thank you, mr. chairman. >> i now recognize the last question of the>> day. brad snyder of illinois for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman i too want to express my gratitude and want to extend my gratitude to all of our witnesses but also for your patience of staying throughout the session part and particulars for sharing your insights and perspectives. i feel we have learned a lot. while i recognize and appreciate our reverence
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extraordinary evacuation efforts i remain concerned for those still in afghanistan as to all of my colleagues. my office is not alone with numerous pending cases, humanitarian, we have been in touch with ngos and private citizens who have been able to evacuate afghans i'm looking forward to more information from our government and the plan for getting these individuals as safely and as we can and urgently possible. with the limited time i have left i appreciate your definition of strategy is the alignment of ways and means over time. you notice the first lesson the importance of a realistic picture of what is possible. i appreciate understanding the history and context of the
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situation if you are going to have any idea of how to affect his future direction. my first question is as a student trying to understand the root sources of the conflicts in afghanistan, how far back do we need to go to begin that study? is it back to 2001 covid 1979, to really prepare a strategy how far do we have to go to understand it? >> i don't think there is a set a answer congressman for that answer. but in afghanistan certainly the previous ten years before 911. that's the combination the taliban rule in the civil war. and then the ten years before that which is the soviet experience. but actually should have drawn deeper than that in the constitution of 1964 turned out to be the basis of the
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constitution. i am talking in decades of experience that often does not reside in the u.s. government but it doesn't reside. resides in academia, it resides elsewhere. it relies and other allies have deep experience in the region. that breadth of expertise is what i would commend to strategist. >> were talking decades. the ethnic complex affected and you said the u.s. ignored issues and assignment of responsibility for the military. to further understand afghanistan and that level offnd detail. >> i think you can pick any number of starting points. i would start with a century before moving on to centuries. a century and go is when the brits lost the third afghan
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war. took power as the afghan leader. he was a modernizer, he moved out very fast. he got a lot done. but a decade later he was pushed out of power because he was moving too fast for the deeply conservative afghan population. it is understanding i think some of these very deep rooted leafs and views of the population. >> said let me flip my question 180 degrees. you use the term in your opening remarks about strategic inpatients. to understand the concept of afghanistan is certainly ♪ multa century. how long c patients necessary for the goal were trying to achieve strategically, how long is our patients
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required? decades, another century? >> that is an excellent question in the context which ihi just spoke. and that you roughly wondered your history in the modern era of the afghanistan required outside support. and they probably always will. again, it does not need to be huge. it does not need to be measured in hundreds of american lives lost. but it is the reality of afghanistan. it's past, present, and i daresay future. it is going to require outside assistance. >> mr. chairman i am out of time i have a decade another century of questions left at the have to wait for another time pretty think the witnesses and i look forward to engaging in further conversation with all of you. >> thankal you. all thehe time the members have is expired but let me first thank extraordinary witnesses for their testimonies today.
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the testimonies heard today offer an insight into the 20 years of decisions and policies that have shaped the united states legacy in afghanistan for that is a culmination of in my opinion, mistakes, hubris, naïve optimism. our inability to transform a nation we did not fully understand. there is no one simple answer that alone can explain what went wrong on august 21 i don't believe. the decision to withdrawal which i strongly believe was the right one, was always no matter when. [inaudible] whether it's five years from now, ten years from now, 20 years from now was always going to come with the risk of the afghan regime collapsing, chaos in kabul and a taliban
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victory. we will continue to conduct oversight of that withdrawal but there is no oversight is complete unless it also evaluates the years that god is here. through transform what was supposed to be a counterinsurgent strategy moved into nationbuilding. i want to make a final observation based on some of the testimony submitted todayin here. one crocker talked about there's no initiative capitol that was targeted by the taliban. yet 70% of the country was still being contested. contested by the taliban during that period of time. and, i'm also stating her and
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goal for being in afghanistan was always clear and that was for the security of the united states. and yet the closing statement was with a very heartfelt story of dodger stadium. and with the women of afghanistan. so for me it is a clear demonstration of competing interests and the lack to deal with those interests whether were counterterrorism, or women's rights, or education or corruption. our military came to address the alec that threat. there is not the al qaeda threat we never would have been in afghanistan. but we stay to prop up. [inaudible] and yes support women's rights.
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to meet the latter two tasks should be entrusted to our diplomats. not the military. this is the mission creed that occurred. it was made so politically difficult to make the tough decisions. [inaudible] or are at risk. [inaudible] i worry who those who say afghanistan. [inaudible] those of the two lessons i believe of afghanistan. congress alone has the constitutional authority to declare war. it's time once again takes seriously the weight of that
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responsibility. not just. [inaudible] we are coequal branches of government with responsibility. hearings and our oversight so we can learn the lessons and not repeat the mistakes again. because there are consequences of our actions here in the halls of congress. again, i've got to thank our distinguish witnesses for your honesty, your patience, your time and your thoughts. you really gave us the depth and diversity of idea and thought that our committee needs to hear. thank you for your patriotism, i thank you for serving our greatar company. i thank you for participating in today's hearing likewise i
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want to thank ranking member for partnership and holding today's committee as well as all of these members of this committee for their engagement in this important conversation. so again, thank you all in this hearing is now adjourned. ♪ ♪ >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government funded by these television companies and more including a charter communications. >> broadbent is a force for empowerment per that is why charter has invested billions infrastructure, upgrading technology empowered big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications support c-span as a public service along with these other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> you can be a part of a national conversation by
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access top highlights, listen to c-span radio and discover new podcasts all for free. download c-span now today. >> the supreme court heard a case involving a kentucky abortion law. kentucky attorney general is seeking to provide its already struck down. this law if implemented would ban a certain abortion procedure the justices have until the end of the term to issue a ruling at women's surgical center. >> today's orders of the court have been duly edited and certified with the clerk grade will have arguments first this morning in case 2601 cameron versus em w women's surgical center. mr. kuhn. >> mr. chief justice admit please the court, two days after learning that another state official had stopped defending


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