Obama urged to recalibrate anti-terror policy, end Afghan war

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 16:35

Washington: A bi-partisan group of
Congressmen has asked President Barack Obama to recalibrate his anti-terrorism policy and end the war in Afghanistan following the killing of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

In a letter, the group of eight Congressmen led by
Peter Welch and Jason Chaffetz called for a shift from the
expensive nation building strategy currently underway in
Afghanistan to one modeled after the successful mission that
located and killed Osama bin Laden.

Welch is the Chief Deputy Whip of the Democratic
Party; while Chaffetz is Chairman, Oversight and Government
Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and
Foreign Operations.

"The success of this mission does not change the
reality that America still faces a determined and violent
adversary," the letter said.

"It does, however, require us to reexamine our policy
of nation building in Afghanistan. We believe it is no longer
the best way to defend America against terror attacks, and we
urge you to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan that are not
crucial to the immediate national security objective of
combating al-Qaeda.

"The killing of Osama bin Laden was made possible by a
strong intelligence operation and well-trained Special Forces
units. In combating extremism, the combination of actionable
intelligence and highly mobile Special Forces has proven most
effective against an enemy that is not limited to a single
geographic location," the letter said.

Congressmen said the events in Pakistan underscore the
need for an emphasis on intelligence gathering and highly
mobile Special Forces units.

"We can no longer fight this war by the old rules.
This battle requires a nimble and agile force with a capacity
for rapid response anywhere in the world. It requires
integration and cooperation between intelligence-gathering
entities," they wrote.

"The CIA, NSA, NGIA and JSOC`s new Targeting and
Analysis Center were all instrumental in finding and tracking
Osama bin Laden. Such operations can transform the way
intelligence is gathered, analyzed, and acted upon," they
said.

"After fighting the longest war in the history of the
United States of America, it`s time to redeploy our resources
to address our most pressing threats. It`s time to bring the
formal war in Afghanistan to an end as we adapt to the
changing demands of a different kind of war," the Congressmen
wrote.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 16:35

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