Aug 14, 2022 - World

Retired general says U.S. “right back where we started” in Afghanistan

A year since the start of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, retired general and Fox News analyst Jack Keane told "Fox News Sunday" conditions in Afghanistan have deteriorated to their level before the U.S. invasion in 2001.

Driving the news: The Taliban's retaking of Afghanistan has resulted in economic devastation and the return of the group's draconian policies, which deny women the right to work and attend school, Keane said.

  • "They are just shutting down all the normal cultural aspirations that a nation or people would have," he said.
  • "We went to Afghanistan to stop the Taliban from providing sanctuary to the al-Qaeda, from which the attack on the United States took place," Keane said.
  • "And what did this decision get us?" he added of the withdrawal. "It got us the Taliban in charge again ... providing sanctuary to al-Qaeda."

The big picture: While the Biden administration touted the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri this month as an example of the U.S.' "over-the-horizon" counterterrorism capabilities, Keane saw the situation differently.

  • Al-Zawahiri's killing "resurrected the fact that he is living in a Taliban house ... where senior Taliban leaders are in residence, and obviously they are protecting the al-Qaeda leader as well as his organization," Keane said.
  • "So the fact is, Afghanistan is a sanctuary for terrorism. The very reason we went there, the very reason we stayed there for 20 years, to ensure that terrorists did not rise again to attack the American people, and we are right back where we started."
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