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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 26, 2015 3:14pm-4:06pm EST

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else. we must be part of it. >> for those of us who saw another prime minister in the dispatch box and felt we voted at that time to take military action on a false premise, can i thank the prime minister for coming to this house and his approach and openness over what i believe is a very real and present threat to citizens in the u.k.? there can be no doubt that we would bring a very specific whenary capability if and we join in this military action in syria. is the prime minister satisfied that we have sufficient stocks and manufacturing capability to sustain and the fill our military objective in syria? david cameron: i can confirming of sufficient stocks, but let me respond to my right honorable friends wider point.
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that what happened in 2003 in iraq did poison the well in many ways over the debate over these issues. have a principle of no rushing, clear, legal advice, the widest possible , strongional coalition arab and muslim partners, trying to take the house through this every step of the way, but the one thing i would say to colleagues, we mustn't let 2003 and the decisions then hold us participating. we were not just be leading down our allies. we would be letting down ourselves and the values sweep report to represent. >> is in it essential to be sure -- values we represent. >> isn't it sure to be --
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essential to be sure of your allies and sure of your objectives? isn't it a fact that turkey has been buying oil from isis? they have been bombing the kurds and the kurds are fighting isis. they shut down a russian jet even though russia wants to fight isis. he has no objective -- he has an objective to get rid of bashar al-assad. the russian ally has the opposite objective. what a crazy world. enemies to the left of me. enemies to the right. keep out. mr. cameron: i do agree that we should be clear about our allies and objectives. our allies include not just the united states of america and france, but gulf states and others in the region who are all
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now coming together in an alliance to get rid of isis. we also need to be clear about our objectives, the military targets i talked about, but also the deflating of this caliphate that is such a risk to our world. smuggling,ey and oil they have been taking forward prosecutions and trying to seal their border. should they do more? of course, and that is very much a part of our strategy. mr. stewart: last night, two senior military officers told me how much their country would really appreciate it if we joined them fully in taking the fight to syria. pinpoint accurate bombing by the raf would demonstrate our
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determination to destroy the terrorists. i ask that we bring this highly potent gesture to a vote of this house as soon as next week, because our allies really want us to prove that we are fully with them. pay tribute let me to my honorable friend. he has served in combat zones. he knows the importance of making these considerations after -- decisions after careful consideration and he absolutely knows the importance of standing by our allies. was on this: i bench in 2002 when tony blair presented the case for war in iraq with considerable sincerity. it was a matter of integrity.
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what i would ask the prime minister before he comes to this house again to put the case for more war to the vote, that he should examine the conscience, that he should examine all bombing, as wef , and this is a matter of integrity. i agree it is a matter of integrity and there is no part of me that wants to take part in military action that is not necessary for our own safety and security. he refers to the iraq vote. a time of great difficulty and it has become hugely controversial, but we must not let that hold us back from making correct decisions when we are under such threat, and we all are.
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that bomb in paris could have been london. if they had their way, it would be london. adviceand here with behind me that taking action will degrade and reduce the threat over time? absolutely. and i have examined my conscience, and that is what it is telling me. >> may i strongly endorse my right honorable friends view expressed this morning, now is the time to scale up diplomatic efforts to resolve the syrian .onflict and to defeat isis havecourages you to discussions with president putin, who has the ear of president assad. and may i also remind him that it was thanks to the intervention of the royal air
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force and other air forces that iraq was prevented from falling of isis hands completely. theakes no sense to stop at borders today. mr. cameron: the point about poignantarticularly that was stopped by action from the sky and the use of ground forces. he is also right about discussing these issues with president putin as i have done and will continue to do. there is a cap between us, but i believe it is a gap that is reducing. >> credit should be given to the part of our military has played directlyut would he address the vital concerns that came through the committee
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report that the world will be wepromised fundamentally if do not joined the bombing -- if we join the bombing? political make a agreement more likely or less likely. , it makes it less likely because unless we -- surely, moderate sunni forces in syria need to play a part in the future of that country. so we should be helping them, in what they do with isis, instead of seeing them wasted away. of the opinion
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of the house and throughout the country in favor of taking the right move, it's striking against isis wherever it may be. the decision we took in this house less ash last september last december to attack isis remains today. surely, we must take decisions without taking into account political fortune in the house. mr. cameron: i think the point about looking back at the decision we made with respect to isis anorak and making a dish -- making a judgment about it was the right one. isis has been pushed back in quite a large way since that decision. as for coming in front of this house, i have been clear.
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action, we have this convention, which i am happy to comply to. i find it rather anxious that we seem to be responding on a something must be done. that is not always the basis for the best decisions. the primehether minister has received information about strikes that have definitely hit civilian areas, the fact that there is an increase in refugees, because they don't know which way to run, and i think we need to be conscious of the risk of recruitment. in people who bombed london 2005 and the people who bombed here.lived we will not bomb them out of existence, and we know that this of well increase recruitment extremists here. mr. cameron: this absolutely is not a something must be done strategy.
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it is about careful consideration, bringing together all parts of a plan. but the opposite of what you would say is doing nothing on this front also has consequences , and those are consequences we have to consider very carefully in terms of the dangerous recruitment of islamist extremists in our own country. as long as that caliphate exists, in my view, we are at greater risk. >> may i commend my friend on his statement, particularly in working with our allies, but may i urge him to talk to president obama to ask him when the united states is going to show more resolve? isn't it strange that during the bosnia conflict, they mounted perhaps 130 sorties a day and every aircraft was cleared to
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drop or shoot. in syria, they are doing perhaps seven sorties a day and only one or two aircraft are cleared to drop or shoot. should we expect more from the united states if this alliance is going to be successful? mr. cameron: i am grateful for my friends of support and i believe it is important to have strategy and goals. in terms of what my friends in america are doing, they are bearing the burden with other allies, including moderate arab states. obviously, the greater the part we play in response to their request, the greater influence we can have on the course of the campaign, and indeed, the greater accuracy we can insist on in terms of targeting.
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>> the prime minister has made a very powerful case this morning. on tuesday, the head of counterterrorism said the threat to isis in this country was very real. can i press you on two points. first, an inevitable consequence of our intervention will be that the migration crisis will get much worse. is the rest of the eu ready for this? i know we are, but is the rest of the eu? secondly, he says he is the servant of the house. we are all servants of the people. can i invite him to invite leaders of the muslim community to meet with him on downing street so that he can put the case to them as eloquently as he mr. cameron: is? thank the honorable gentleman for his support. i also believe counterterrorism experts are all speaking with the same voice about the risk we face from this caliphate. he is right to raise the issue
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of migration. in the end, the only way to stop the migration crisis is a political intervention in syria. i believe this action goes with the political solution we need. it is important to discuss all of these issues with members of the muslim community. i have set up a new engagement and i will look very closely at the specific idea he puts. >> can my right humble friend explain how we are going to succeed with this strategy if it is not shared with turkey which seems to be more interested in bombing kurds than bombing isis? mr. cameron: i think it is right to have an isis first strategy. i think what we are seeing from in this process is a growing understanding that the true enemy is isis. i think if you look at what happened with the hideous bombing in ankara that has now been laid firmly at the door of
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a growingink you see understanding from turkey's leaders that isis was a growing and and norm's threat to their country, as it is. >> my question relates to a key issue around ground forces that has been raised by other honorable members. it is one of the key weaknesses in a statement today. i have asked this question twice before. what efforts have been made to persuade the iraqi government to do more to support the sunnis, because they will be crucial to defeating isis? mr. cameron: the honorable gentleman is absolutely right about this. i think the prime minister is a great improvement on his predecessor in wanting a , but wey plural society hiringre progress on
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sunnis and indeed kurds into the security forces so that there are troops who will be trusted by local people when they clear and hold territory that is occupied by sunni tried to sunni tribes. he is absolutely right about this. we are doing everything we can. us toure they would like do more. we will keep looking at their request and see what more we can do. if the house once select committees to invite senior officials to give evidence, i am very happy for that to happen. in no way do i want to be accused of inventing intelligence or overstating intelligence. i trying to understate
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everything here. the only thing i am absolutely clear about is that we face a threat and we should deal with it. ter: as somebody who voted against action the last time this came to the house, i would like to say that i will be joining the prime minister along with countless thousands of muslims who have been enslaved, massacred and tortured across the region. question.t one could he tell us what reassurance he can give to our forces who are supporting kurds and other local forces on the ground that they won't be bombed by russia? mr. cameron: first of all, can i thank her for her support? the is a different question house is considering, a new question, and i would appeal to colleagues across the house to respond in the way that she has done. in terms of moderate forces,
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this is the remaining disagreement between us and russia. russia has done more to inflict damage on moderate forces then on isis. we need to encourage that to change not least because in the processes we have had in the past, including the geneva process, the russians have accepted that people like the free syrian army and the civilian representatives should play a part in the future of syria. speaker, as a member of the foreign affairs committee, i thank the to prime minister for coming today to deal with the issues raised in our report. this house has been asked to commit military action in the past in areas such as libya and iraq and it has ended badly. these issuesve have been adequately answered.
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the foreignirman of affairs committee give a commitment to appear before the committee to give evidence before a motion comes to approve military action? mr. cameron: i am very happy to appear before the select committee, but i cannot promise i will do that before a vote in the house. obviously, were there to be a vote, i would appear in the house for a full day of the debate and i will sit and listen to contributions, take questions and as many interventions as i possibly can. think the select committee did ask good questions and i would ask him to read our response in full. it is incredibly detailed. the chairman of the foreign asked formittee has it, and i would urge them to look at it carefully.
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quick sunday, former prime --ister >> sunday, former british prime minister tony blair and howard buffett discuss world hunger. they founded an organization that helps provide the world access to food. mr. buffett is showing photographs related to food. at 6:30 p.m.y eastern on c-span. major general gordon davis gave an update on operations in afghanistan, including the current role of u.s. troops, afghan forces ability to protect their country, and cobb at efforts against the taliban and isis. from washington journal, this is 35 minutes. for the past couple of years on thanksgiving, we have been joined by u.s. service members and military brass from afghanistan and we want to welcome major general gordon davis joining us from kabul, afghanistan.
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happy thanks giving and thank you for your service and thanks for being with us. you and your viewers, happy thanksgiving to everyone out there. it is a pretty nice day here. host: the me begin with news, this is the front page of the new york times. as you well know, saying the airstrike that hit the hospital in afghanistan on october 3 was avoidable. resulting in the depths of 30 individuals, mostly patience. operated by doctors without borders, what happened and what can be learned? the question,for i would have to first tell you that frankly, my mission is very different from the one that was involved in that operation. i can tell you what i've heard general campbell say and my knowledge of the investigation and its outcome. tragedy thatlute we would've liked to avoid, or
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see that not occur. i realize there was a lot of efforts to try and avoid that type of incident. as we both know, there was human error involved and procedural issues and problems with following the rules of the game. general campbell let us know that in a statement and he also theained the fact that results of the investigations continue because there are people that will be held accountable but unfortunately, we cannot bring back the people that were killed but we certainly can do our best to prevent an incident like that from ever happening again. that is our intent, to avoid casualties and do our best to help the afghan people and those helping the afghan people and achieve a secure and stable afghanistan. host: another factor listed in the statement by general campbell and this is a common factor in warfare, that is
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fatigued by the military men and women serving. how big of a problem is that from your standpoint? were talkingase we about, special operations forces who were assisting the afghan special operating forces, that it into play for several days. inyou recall, the situation late september, the taliban entered the village -- city ofk unduz. they ask for assistance -- the police asked for assistance from the security and some that responded were our special operations soldiers. they had been there for several ons when the event occurred the third of october. i am sure that is a factor in all of the operations that our
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men and women are involved in. in this case, it happens less and less frequently because we are not involved in extended combat operations. in this case, we had a special operating team as well as another air force crew that was in the event. it is something that is part of all operations. the rotation by ensuring soldiers are trained to endure and persevere and areas of fatigue. that is something -- i would like to talk about some of the things we are doing to try and help the afghan army police in a similar situation. highalso have extremely off tempo this year so we are working very hard with them to enable a operational cycle that allows them to provide time and space for their soldiers and policemen to take leave, have
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downtime, and conduct individual training before they are put back in the fight. that is a major emphasis we are working through with the ministry to take a more effective and help them with their police units. host: one area of success according to the new york times where helmand province you worked with the military in afghanistan and allow them to take over. what is happening specifically? guest: we are at the end of a very difficult fighting season, and an area where the taliban insurgency has made itself a main effort to try to assume control of districts and major population areas. they have not been successful in achieving their objectives but they have been successful in making it different for the afghan army to maintain control. they challenge them. the army has been able to maintain the majority of control over the population in helmand.
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my command is responsible for helping the army police sustain themselves. in a veryolved thorough operation to help them rebuild and reconstitute the battalions that have been fighting over this last fighting season. we are working on helping them form a plan to bring in the battalions that have been on the front lines and challenged over the last several months to come back in, reset, refit, and to fit in a better operational cycle so they can he readied by the next season next spring. the me share with our audience and remind you what the president said one year ago as the wind down continued today in afghanistan. he said the following. thanks for the extraordinary services of our extranet a min -- extra nariman and women in uniform our combat mission in afghanistan is ending
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and the longest war in american history is coming to a responsible conclusion. one year later where are we? we have concentrated our efforts on training, advising, and assisting will be called the afghan security institutions. and the army and police and trying to achieve a stable and secure afghanistan. we'll be transitioned from is partnering with afghan units to training and advising and assisting some of the higher task force units, primarily the army and police and also the ministries. that is our new focus on finishing -- focusing on the ministries themselves, resource management, what they need to do to equip and train and sustain the army police. incidenturing the continued to train, advice, assist the special operation forces at the battalion level and above and we also train
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advisors in the afghan air force. a year from where we were where we announced the mission, we are focusing on the strategic level issues that the ministries need to be able to sustain and we have made significant progress. we are obviously no longer assistingadvising, the army and brigades because we are focused on the course. are the largest organizations across afghanistan responsible for planning, organizing, synchronizing the fight, but not actually conducting the fight. our guest is major general gordon davis joining us live from kabul, afghanistan. you have a line set aside for those of you who are afghan veterans and that number is 202-748-8003. those american men and women that served over the last decade plus, and major general davis will be with us for about 40
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minutes. i want to share with you a headline from the new york times. the afghan soldiers besieged by the afghanistan saying they are outgunned. where is the taliban getting its weapons? weaponry thatiban we hear often cited comes from a number of sources. the vast majority were supplied or obtained during the soviet war against afghanistan or in afghanistan i should say. there are also supplies that came from outside sources that infiltrate and and there are some that have been captured over the years from afghan forces and some from others. there's a variety of systems. they don't have the same level of weaponry that the afghan army or air force has. they don't have airplanes, or large mechanized vehicles or even significant numbers.
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the few they have captured over the years, but not to any large extent. weapons include machine guns of both types, primarily of soviet nature and warsaw pact origin because there were so many in the country at the time intoe -- our entry thousand one. they remain out there, they haven't been completely collected. there's a variety of sources. more importantly, they enjoy the ability to move. there is plenty of ungoverned space in afghanistan so they can move about the country. and attack in small numbers. they have had a few larger attacks this year but typically small. they are generally not out wening the afghan army or would see whole districts and provinces governed by the taliban. and they are not. they have not been able to maintain control of a single
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capital or major town since they began years ago. a long career with the u.s. army and rather than go through your rather lengthy and impressive resume, give us the highlights. officer am an infantry by commissioning and spent a number of years serving in europe as well as the united states. most of my deployments have been between europe, africa, and iraq and afghanistan. this is my fourth job in afghanistan and i've been here since 2008 to 2012, i was here part of every year so afghanistan is probably the one area abroad that i know the best beyond europe. stations havef my been in europe between italy, germany, the u.k., and belgium. host: where is your family on
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this thanks giving holiday? guest: my family right now is enjoying thanksgiving in italy. i have a daughter in the army who serves in germany. also.ilitary intelligence i have another daughter that just graduated from college in italy. altogether in a town in moving look forward to talking to them shortly after this program. host: how often can you get together based on your response abilities in afghanistan? guest: i've been here about two months so the last time i saw them was when i deployed from italy. i will see them again next spring. host: we will go to douglas joining us from massachusetts for major general gordon davis and afghanistan, go ahead. caller: good morning general davis, thank you for your service. happy thanksgiving. guest: thank you, happy thanks giving here. caller: it's a beautiful morning here in cape cod and i wish you
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youry and i thank you for condolences in the incident in the hospital and afghanistan. i just hope you have a great holiday, sir. think you so much for your service. ,ost: thank you for those words appreciated, i just spent the morning traveling around kabul seeing the individuals i happened command in different locations. we hope that all of their families are joining in a host: happy thanks giving today. host:host: and your earlier reference to the taliban in some of the strongholds that remain in afghanistan by that terrorist organization. the editorial posing this question, are we losing afghanistan again? from your perspective, how would you answer? guest: it's fairly easy for me to state we are not losing afghanistan. iat is fairly declaratory but
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would say having been here since 2008, i have seen an evolution of our effort here from leading earlier years,in certainly during the time when we searched forces here between 2012 as we were at the apex of our involvement to transferring, leading, partnering, withdrawing, and allowing the afghans to take the lead. although they've had a difficult year, we have certainly seen them be able to maintain control of the majority of the population and maintain the fight despite the fact that we have drawn some 100,000 plus troops in the last three years and they have had to shoulder the complete burden of the fight over the last two years. they have had difficulties and challenges, but they have also denied the taliban chief objectives. frankly, that's what matters.
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on majorban has not w area or popular support. the people are behind the army and behind the government. host: steve is joining us. a u.s. veteran serving in afghanistan from norwood, missouri. good morning. caller: good morning, how are you doing, sir. guest: happy thanks giving, steve. caller: happy thanksgiving to you, general davis. guest: what can i answer for you? sir, here's the thing. from in afghanistan twice 2011to 2009 and then from to 2012. toas also in iraq from 2005 2006 as a mid-team leader in the city of falluja.
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thete to say it but we said same things about iraq that we are now saying about afghanistan. i know we are probably going to be there by the end of the decade because of we are not, i am sure that country will fall apart. appreciate your service , the things you just identified in terms of your service in afghanistan and iraq, time ascorrespond to my i took command in 2009 -- 2000 -- similartty sure i have views or at least a similar experience working with the iraqi security forces and the afghan security forces. i would say the difference is we are taking a longer view in terms of our partnership and support to the afghan army
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police than we do with the iraqi security forces. we have a larger number of forces here then one we were in 2003 to 2011. we came off in 2011 and achieved global support. i remember my teammates and iraq in 2011 talking to me about the drawdown and withdrawal from iraq and trying to share the load. some of the things we have learned is we had commanders visit us in theater here so we would make sure we were taking some of what we learned as we do in iraq by continuing efforts in afghanistan. some of it was making sure the afghans had the time to lead the campaign effort, lead the effort against the insurgents. to hold on toied this too long and iraq. we did try to take some of the lessons from there and apply that to our experience and afghanistan and we have used that in the campaign planning. i was the head of future plans
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in 2011 and stayed on to be a deputy commanding general in region command east as we went through a whole year process and policeghan army brothers and sisters, letting them take the lead and planning the campaign with synchronization. like them take the lead in targeting, and then supporting that effort. we come up from the brigades and battalions advisory effort, we are now still doing the core level effort and regional police and frankly, that's not something we were able to do in iraq. we had to withdraw rapidly over the last years. now, president obama has given us another year to work with the army and police in this region to help ensure the systems and processes that we need to inculcate will remain. we measure that in terms of their taking ownership of those
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systems. we're seeing them take ownership. now it takes time to educate and for them to cater the processes to their own culture and experience, skill sets. i think that's the biggest tension between what we did in iraq and what we are trying to get back in there and reestablish the connective tissue and help them through the -- i think that's what we have greater hope for success. the street asin he watches the program, saying thanks to all serving or have served especially over there. joining us, another veteran that served in afghanistan. good morning. caller: yes, good morning. i have a question for general davis. have the rights to future plan?
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i am a 28 year army veteran, i currently work for the department of defense. i see all the reports about the taliban overrunning the afghan national army checkpoints. there is a train and assist strategy, does it really work? it seems we are being overrun and losing the war. look back in history, for example in the philippines after world war ii, we remained for 40 years. our efforts in iraq and afghanistan require a much longer strategic plan to help them grow their democracies rather than the short-term, eight years in iraq. 12 years in afghanistan. servicehanks for your
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and happy thanks giving and your family as well. i would say you have hit on a great point. i think the strategic partnership and a long commitment are exactly what afghanistan needs from not just the u.s. from the international community. them theo give confidence we will be there helping them through the challenges ahead. helping a younger brother or sister, i wouldn't say a child because they are much more mature than that, but it's like helping them through, gaining the education and skills they need to carry the fight as effectively as possible. although there have been over runs, they do have way too many checkpoints with too few forces. .hey are making corrections now in the cases of where they have had checkpoints or districts
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overrun, they are boys recaptured them. theyhey realize is extended themselves too much and had to reduce checkpoints so they can increase maneuverability. it's taken them years to figure that out and on that as a problem, but they are going to a systematic settlement and a reduction of checkpoints which reduces their vulnerability and will allow them to add a greater offense of capability to get after the insurgents. they're going after the post fighting season currently, bracing for the next one. but going back to europe last point -- going back to your last think all the viewers and listeners should take away this is a long fight for the afghan army police. although it is not popular among the people has the capability because of the terrain and environment to
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operate. afghanistan is surrounded by course borders so the ability to bring in fighters and resources will continue. it is a regional effort that needs to be put in place to help afghanistan stem its problem. held on, itartially is also supported from abroad so they have a lot of problems beyond a single nation's capability to address but it's not hopeless. it may be hard but they are gaining ground and their holding ground. they're are not losing to the taliban. borders alsothe invite isis or other terrorist organizations and openings to set up operations in afghanistan? guest: i only heard part of the question but you're asking a question about isis and their presence in afghanistan, is that
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correct? there is a presence. i think it was first identified late last year. it became a concern early on for in the nudebell administration. we have watched it fairly carefully. it is -- in the new administration. it is not gaining critical mass and momentum, but it has had a difficult time in getting popular support. not the least of which because of the brutal tactics they employed. generally wherever they operate they have engendered popular push back and blowback because of their brutal tactics. they are not gaining ground. the other aspect is the majority of these are disenfranchised splinter groups of the taliban or related insurgents that are claiming allegiance to isis to
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gain popular support because they want to follow on the coattails of what they see as a successful movement, but that is not the case in afghanistan. a big part of their non acceptance by the people is they are not seen as local. many people support them from resources abroad or influence abroad and do not reflect afghan and muslim values. guest: a very quick follow up on another note from a viewer, and i know this is way above your pay grade, but the viewer says in your opinion will be u.s. be required to have a permanent presence in afghanistan with a military base? that is a great question and it is about my pay grade in terms of policy. in terms of interests to the united states, we do not want to
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see afghanistan ever returned to be a safe haven for terrorists that can attack our is in our interests to continue to ensure those terrorists are prevented from getting a safe haven and assuring the afghan police have the tools to prevent those types of terrorist groups from gaining ground and safe haven. i think it is one of those areas where we will continue to assess and continue to assess on the resources required, also the capacity of the afghan army police. host: approximately how many servicemen and women are in afghanistan today? guest: we have approximately 10,000 serving in afghanistan right now. 6500 allies about and partners serving in
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afghanistan. host: our guest is major general gordon davis joining us from kabul. john from utah on the democrats line, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you general for your service, and happy thanksgiving, and stay safe out there. i just have a question. i am a big study of history. these people in that part of the region of the world have wars for hundreds of years. i don't think there has been peace since 1490. this is a religious war we are in. these people fight for hundreds of years. how can we even imagine shaping that fight when we are part of that fight against their religion. we bring people in. and thee a holy war world scenario where we fight them. it justoing there,
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promotes that en. how can we ever that-- that end. how can we ever hope to end the war? guest: happy thanksgiving. that is a tough question. here is a lot of violence but it is less than over past centuries. century was inh fact quite peaceful. there were some struggles at different times and certainly here but there was some piece in the 1940's through the mid-1970's. it was considered three decades of peace and prosperity and development. in the in the south valley with dams and building
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airfields. at the time the soviet union was building airfields in the north. we were competing for influence in afghanistan. there are other periods like that. lates only until the 1970's through the 1980's, and the violence that continued after the occupation that has characterized this country as an area of constant violence. that is what the people have known, generally. support andrying to suppress the population. the endct in terms of of the world, that is more of an isis aspect that is related to how isis is operating in syria and attempting to gain ground in syria and iraq.
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that is not really apply to afghanistan. there is much more of a religious, they are very autonomous people. they do not believe in large expensive movements. they have not supported that. they are looking for a certain level of autonomy vis-a-vis the government. movements, external they generally have not supported them. the only time they came together in the last few decades against a common foe was let me when the mujahedin were not unified. the were a lot of small grassroots fighting against the soviets. whemur joined theve now
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army police. they revolted against some of the extreme powerbrokers. it is not a religious war in terms of conflict across afghanistan. the taliban have tried to make it want to try to speak to what they think are traditional afghan cultural values, but they have not gained a larg large por support. they are joined in the single digits support in some areas of the country, but not wholesale allegiance. it is not as religious as we might see the conflict in syria and iraq. it is a long answer, by wanted to dispel -- but i wanted to dispel some of the ideas that this is li


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