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