President Donald Trump outlined the path ahead for the nearly 16-year war in Afghanistan Monday night, to mixed responses from the both sides of the aisle. The president presented a three pillar plan at Fort Myer, promising the troops, "We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists."
Lt. Colonel Tony Schaffer, author of “The Last Line,” told Chris Salcedo, "The idea here is that, look, we’re over there to take care of our business; not anyone else’s.” Sometimes our interests are in concert with other nations, sometimes not, he explained on "The Chris Salcedo Show."
Schaffer was there in 2003 when this all went off the rails, he says, because Lt. General David Barno shifted focus from killing terrorists to nation building. The Lt. Col. says this was “completely stupid,” leading to “feckless and bad results over the past 15 years.”
He does not want to see another Iraq, where ISIS swooped in to fill the vacuum when troops left. Pakistan remains a hot bed of radicalization, he added, while India -- which he feels started off developmentally with Pakistan in the middle of the last century -- is now "part of our economy," with the Indians challenging the Chinese in the market.
India, as Trump mentioned in his speech, is an ally against terrorism. Schaffer pointed to Japan, Germany, and Korea, which all still have American troops despite the wars being long over. When the U.S. partners with those who wish to be its partner, it's in everyone's best interest.
Leaving Iraq or Afghanistan “for someone else to dominate,” he said, would be a mistake.