“The reality is we have to stay focused on the mission and what the threat is,” Keane told host Martha MacCallum,.”I’m surprised somewhat that he’s withdrawing with no conditions whatsoever,” noting that while former President Donald Trump also set an exit date, he did so with conditions.
Keane then called out Biden’s statement that diplomacy will be at the center of his foreign policy and national security strategy, asking: “Why aren’t we putting that into play Negotiations with his conditions for a withdrawal to give our negotiators some leverage with the Taliban? We have walked away from that opportunity.
“Second thing here is, we are forgetting lessons learned,” Keane added. “We ended the war in Iraq prematurely and we got ISIS. It was an absolute disaster on our part.”
The retired four-star general then warned that Al Qaeda could set up safe havens if the U.S. completely leaves Afghanistan. “Al Qaeda did the same prior to the 9-11 attack. [They bombed] Two embassies in Africa and the U.S.S. Cole. If we had destroyed the Al Qaeda safe haven in Afghanistan, there wouldn’t have been a 9-11. Safe havens are critical to the radical Islamist movement.
“The president mentioned it himself. The reason why we’re in Syria, Iraq, Eastern Africa is to prevent those organizations, radical Islamists, from having what? A safe haven from which to attack the United States. This is a multi-generational war. That is why we’re still doing that. To walk away from Afghanistan and say this is not a multi-generational conflict is to ignore the reality of what is taking place.”
“What happens on September 12?” asked MacCallum, referring to the day after the last American forces are scheduled to leave the country.
“That government is going to be undermined and so will the ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces], a civil war will break out and [there is] a very real possibility of the Taliban of taking over,” Keane answered, “and certainly it is fertile opportunity for Al Qaeda to re-establish their safe haven once again.”