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And that is the scene.
Earlier this week amid -- siege by Taliban allied terrorist organizations.
In the Afghan capital of cool.
-- in what turned out -- -- long and deadly siege.
Of the Afghan capital that has prompted.
Divisions and recriminations.
Between the do our allies in Afghanistan.
Against NATO and further clouding.
Prospects for success in that country and this is powered -- welcome back what backed gentry Collins.
Former political director of the RNC.
And the Afghan situation.
Is potentially a sleeper issue for the 2012 election.
Pulling continues to show public support now even among Republicans.
Is running strongly against continuing the war.
Somebody who has been an outspoken.
-- long term.
Critic of the process in Afghanistan of the war effort there these congressman Jim McDermott from the great state of Washington congressman welcome back to the show.
-- to be back.
So I'm I'm a little puzzled and I hope you can explain to me.
How it is then you can have such long popular sentiment against this war effort.
Which seems to be pretty clear and is now shared by members of both parties -- and those parties.
But it doesn't seem to be affecting the policy to any great degree.
Well I think that there is a tendency in Washington DC to listen to.
The military Talking Heads and you've had a recent report by colonel Davis.
Who's been very open about the fact that the American people are not being told.
-- the real impact of our involvement in in Afghanistan news we are not succeeding here.
We have not succeeded for a long period of time.
And what the military people are unwilling to admit.
That the -- make it happen now the troops are doing exactly what they're asked to do.
They're going out and point they're going into an awful situations they're being chewed up and all kinds of things.
The generals are sitting in the -- saying things are going just find the troops on the ground.
When you have people -- actually talked to them and in bed with them if you find that it's not happening and I think the American people just aren't being told the truth.
They -- they since it.
But they're not being told the truth in the media.
Why isn't President Obama.
Going around these channels why is he applying pressure to expedited withdrawal.
Well we -- we may see that Begin to happen.
The president also listens to these people.
These people are telling him that things are going find that we're making progress -- in this province and their problems and we just stay a little longer.
He was kinda pushed -- making an expansion.
By the generals -- as the general said well we did a surge in Iraq and it worked so well why don't we -- a surge in Afghanistan.
It is not working and we -- ultimately going to withdraw.
And we will not have established a government.
We will we're gonna have to deal with the Taliban and we refuse to admit that and I I really think that.
There is a time coming when are our military forces.
He is being pushed into that -- thing you've got suicide rate in the military today of eighteen people a day.
Now you've got people who are just worn out.
By this war that's gone on longer than the first world war and the Second World War come buying.
And yet we continue to push forward and say we just a little wardrobe or his -- of that problems.
It's the president is gonna have to respond to that at some point and ask yourself -- the generals re telling me the truth Abraham Lincoln had to do that.
-- change things because he saw that he wasn't being given the truth from his general zinni made changes that's what's gonna happen here.
Congressman how much of this is do you think politically for the president that concern certainly Hampshire democratic strategist would be concerned.
If the president were seen as.
Opening himself up to accusations of cutting and running.
The president needs to just sort of maintain this stand as well even if it's going the wrong direction until after the election.
Well that's a decision the president will have to make.
I think on behalf of the American people and on behalf of the families.
Of the people who were sending their young men and young women.
The president could be a hero for them.
By saying I will not sacrifice more troops it's something that simply is not working it's going to be very tough for him to do that I understand that.
But I do think that there comes a time when you have to be honest with the American people.
And it may not be pleasant and may be a lot of things about what you want people save what I want is in the leader and be honest.
That's what we're saying and then when people are honest we then say oh here defeatist or your weaker yours off to use something.
I think the president's got some very tough decisions to make in the near future.
He's gonna have to make -- -- Chicago because there's going to be a so much.
Of NATO for officials from all the other countries and they're gonna come and they're gonna ask he's gonna have to ask him.
Please keep your troops there I just saw -- video yesterday out of Australia.
If you see that video you say to yourself.
The Australians cave in and they stood -- a long time but they're having trouble politically carrying on this thing any further.
And I think you're -- to see that weakness among all the NATO allies when he gets to Chicago it's going to be a tough week for.
So that could be yeah.
Congressman we thank you very much for making time for us today not much appreciate.
You're welcome thank.
And what the congressman is talking about there at NATO summit -- that's slated for later this spring in Chicago and the with the advance work on that summit is being done right now gentry Collins.
In meetings in Europe is they talk about basically this is the pre negotiation.
Before the negotiation.
This could be actually something that creates a pressure point for the president.
If in fact he sees NATO allies saying we we will not do this anymore.
Well look and in the past -- I think you've got to give the president some credit and as you know I don't do that easily.
I think desperate for for having for having stuck.
Stuck with some of the major elements in the war on terror and Iraq I think the most notable example of course is Leon Panetta coming out and saying that.
We would not have gotten to bin Laden had we not continued with enhanced interrogations and it's of course that's something the president ran against pretty vigorously.
In 2008 I think -- -- with the president's got to watch out for now though is making this decision.
In a way that is either political or appears to be political I think he's very vulnerable to that for a couple of reasons.
-- not directly related to Afghanistan but one.
-- should be the comments that he made recently I've got to the Russians about you know just give me until after the election we'll have -- little -- just like social club and right now.
Of course that happened.
With the Russians but he was he was he was talking at least in part about the Middle East where he's talking about what was going on and I ran.
The missile defense issue -- and so forth.
Remember that when two years ago when the search happened in Afghanistan.
Country with the congressman said this was a centerpiece of president Obama's foreign policy yet he only provided three quarters of the troops that the generals on the ground digital leaders on -- -- it was a little goldilocks has said that they needed and and then what -- just one more element to that that I think the leads into this narrative that that the decisions are becoming increasingly political around Afghanistan.
Leaders on the ground their military leaders -- granderson look start the drive down at the end of the year.
-- -- -- after the election but coincides with the changing weather and -- Afghanistan this president decided to start the drive down in September before the elections are good news is talking okay Internet.
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