Monday, June 28, 2010
CIA Director Leon Panetta, appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, was asked by Jake Tapper to estimate the number of al Qaeda terrorists remaining in Afghanistan. Panetta said the following:
“I think the estimate on the number of al Qaeda is actually relatively small. At most, we’re looking at 50 to 100, maybe less. It’s in that vicinity.”
If Panetta’s estimate is correct and I assume it is, since as CIA Director, he has access to intelligence the rest of us do not have, this mean the U.S. is maintaining 980 troops per every single al Qaeda member. The U.S. currently has 98,000 combat troops in Afghanistan.
If the mighty U.S. military using 98,000 combat troops can’t win a war against 100 or fewer terrorists, then we need to accept the fact we will never win in Afghanistan. It’s time to reassess the mission and redeploy the troops home.
Meanwhile, a recent NEWSWEEK poll shows 53 percent disapprove of how President Obama is managing the war in Afghanistan. A sharp reversal from February when 55 percent supported Obama on Afghanistan and just 27 percent did not. Put another way, the percentage of Americans who disapprove of Obama’s Afghan policy has nearly doubled in just four months.