Why not leave Afghanistan now?
Part 6 of vice presidential debate
- Duration 10:38
- Date Oct 11, 2012
Part 6 of vice presidential debate
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Can I didn't and I'd -- to move on Afghanistan that is and that's one of the biggest expenditures this country has made in dollars and more importantly in lives.
We just passed the sad milestone of losing 2000 US troops there -- this war more than fifty of them.
Were killed this year by the very Afghan forces we are trying to help.
Now we've reached a recruiting goal for Afghan forces we've degraded al-Qaeda.
So tell me why not leave now what more can we really accomplish.
Is it worth more Americans line.
Yes we don't want to lose the gains we've gotten.
We want to make sure that the Taliban does not come back in and give al-Qaeda safe haven.
We agree with the administration 12014 transition.
But what I think about Afghanistan I think about the incredible job.
That our troops have done you've been there more than the -- us combined.
First time I was there in 2002 it was amazing to me what they were facing.
I went to -- now -- in Kandahar before the surge.
Has stepped down with a young private in the 82 from the -- Indian reservation who would tell me what he did every day that was an off.
And see what they have in front of them and then -- back there in December to go throughout Helmand with the Marines to see what -- accomplished.
It's nothing short of amazing.
Well we don't want to do is lose the gains we've gotten.
Now we even disagreed from time to time and a few issues we would have more likely take into account.
The recommendations from our commanders General Petraeus admiral Mullen on troop levels throughout this year's fighting season.
We've been skeptical about negotiations with the Taliban -- two other shooting at us.
But we want to see -- 2014 transition.
And that means we want to make sure.
Our commanders have what they need to make sure that it is successful so that this does not once again become a launching pad for terrorists.
-- -- I was keep -- the ball.
Reason I've been in Afghanistan there act twenty tell.
I've been puppet of -- -- about I've been throughout that whole country's most news helicopter.
Sometimes you call a loan.
Fact is we went there for one reason.
To get those people who killed Americans.
We decimated al-Qaeda central.
We have a limited and Osama bin Laden.
That was our purpose.
And in fact in the meantime what we said we would do we would help train.
The Afghan military.
Is -- -- responsibility.
To take over their own security.
That's why with 5049.
Of our allies.
In Afghanistan we've agreed on -- gradual draw down so -- -- out of there.
By the year twenty -- -- in the -- 2014.
My friend and the governors say it's based on conditions this means -- content.
It does not depend for us.
It is the responsibility of the Afghans.
To take care of their own security.
We had trained over 3151000.
Mostly without incident.
There have been more than two dozen.
Cases of green on blue were Americans have been kill.
If we do -- -- -- the measures the military has taken do not take cold we will not.
Go on joint patrols we will not trained in the field will only train in the in the army bases of the existing.
But we are -- we are leaving in 2014.
Period and in the process.
We're going to be saving over the next ten years another 800 billion dollars we've been in this war for over a decade.
The object primary objective is almost completed.
Now all we're doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security it's their responsibility.
Not a matter.
That's what what conditions could justify.
We don't want to state we want we'll.
When my best friend in Janesville.
Reservists is at a forward operating base in eastern Afghanistan right now far -- your best friends her daughters are best friends.
I want I want him and all of our troops to come home as soon and safely as possible.
We want to make sure between fourteen successful.
That's why we want to make sure that we give our commanders what they say they need to make it successful.
We don't want to extend beyond 24 team that's the point -- making you know.
If it was just this.
I feel like we would we would be -- Call this a success.
But it's not.
What we -- witnessing as we turn on our television screens these days is the absolute unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.
Problems are growing at home but job but probably -- growing abroad.
-- jobs are growing here at home let me go back to this he says we're absolutely.
Leaving in 2014.
You're saying that's not an absolute that you won't talk you know why are -- -- distance with -- -- -- say that like -- we don't want to broadcast our enemies.
Put a date on your calendar -- this out and then come back which we why -- -- -- -- -- we do.
We do agree with the -- timeline and the transition.
But what we'd know what what any administration will do -- 2013.
It's assess the situation to see how best to complete this timeline we what we go -- wanna do it in 24 when you don't -- -- do.
Is give our allies.
Reason to trust us less in our enemies.
More and we don't want to embolden our enemies.
To hold and wait out for us and then take over the.
-- that's a bizarre that we want to make sure north of the Arctic says it's 49 of our allies -- -- 49.
Of our allies.
Signed on in this position we're reading that they want to -- -- 49 of our allies out in 2014.
It's the responsibility.
Do we have other villages -- -- -- what we have we have so mergers and Marines we have Afghan forces murdering.
Our forces over there the Taliban is.
Do you think taking advantage at this time.
But -- the talent -- What we found out and we you saw in Iraq -- thing unless you set a time.
In the case of Iraq and and down on -- in the case of Afghanistan will not step up.
They're happy -- let us continue to do the job international security -- -- The job.
The only way they step up is say fellas were -- that.
We -- you step up step up.
Let me -- the only way it works.
Let me go back to that this surge troops that we put in there and and you brought this up congressman Ryan.
I have talked to a lot of troops I talk to senior officers who were concerned.
That the surge troops were pulled out during the fighting season and some of them saw that as a political as a political move.
So can you tell me Vice President Biden what was the military reason for bringing those surge troops home.
-- finally reason and bring out by the way when the president announced the surge you'll remember -- He said the surge will be out by the end of the summer.
The military said this surge will be out.
Nothing political about this before the surge occurred so you -- straight with me -- -- before the surge occurred.
We said they'll be out by the end of the summer that's of the military's.
The reason for that is military follows orders that I mean there and trust me there are people sure -- concerned about pulling out it.
There are they -- -- there are concerned but not the joint chiefs that was there recommendation in the Oval Office to the president of the United States of America I sat there.
I'm sure you'll find someone disagrees with the Pentagon.
I'm positive you'll find that within the military but that's not the case here and secondly the reason why the military said that -- you -- not wait.
And have a cliff.
It takes you know months and months and months to draw down forces -- obviously can't.
-- important illustrate the issue here because I think -- a little confusing.
We've all met with general -- -- journalist -- Roddy in Afghanistan -- talk about fighting seasons here's the way it works.
The mountain passes -- -- now the Taliban and the terrorists and -- -- and I can -- come over from Pakistan.
To fight our men and women.
When it -- know they can't do it that's what we call fighting seasons in the -- -- fighting gets really high in the winter it goes down.
And so when admiral Mullen and General Petraeus came to congress.
If you pull these people out before the fighting season is and it puts people more at risk that's the problem.
Yes we drew 20000 troops down last month but the remaining troops that are there who still have the same mission to prosecute counterinsurgency.
Are doing it with fewer people.
That makes them less -- and so we're sending fewer people out.
In all these hot spots to do the same job but there's -- to do a month ago because we what we heard of point -- thousand people out turned them to go.
Word to the Afghan troops we train.
No -- got pulled out that didn't get filled in by trained.
And -- -- He's he's inflating two issues.
The fighting season that Petraeus was talking about and former -- admiral Mullen was the fighting season this spring.
That's and he was talking about we did not what we did not pull them out.
The calendar -- the same every year it does work the same every year could very hot summer air ball that it's warm or it's not.
They're still fighting us there are still coming over the passes.
-- there are still coming in.
His novel the -- -- are to all of these areas but we are sending fewer people to the -- to fight them and that that's right say because that's the Afghan responsibility.
We've trained them.
Not in the east let's move let's move to another war on east watching east RC RC is most dangerous place tomorrow that's why we don't want to send fewer and that's -- that's what we should send Americans -- -- the job Saturday.
You'd rather America's big don't -- the job we are already sending Americans -- the job but fewer of them that's the that's right we're sending in more Afghans to do the job.
Afghans to do the job.
Let's -- to --