WASHINGTON–When the US invaded Afghanistan 20 years ago, it was because terrorists had training camps there. Now that the U.S. military is gone, some lawmakers are concerned terrorists could again use that country as a base.
“It’s cost us a lot of money. We left billions worth of equipment now. We have the Taliban having more Blackhawk helicopters than any country except us,” said Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), talking to IndyPolitics.
Spartz said she is concerned with the cost of the withdrawal as a whole, not just in the equipment left behind that terrorists could use against us or our allies in the region, but in security.
“We don’t really have a good base to do good counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East,” she said, noting that the quick withdrawal may not only rob the U.S. of its ability to have that strategic presence, but that the vacuum created means that terrorists could seize upon it to regain their former foothold.
Spartz noted that physical terrorism is no longer the only threat about which to be concerned, and that the Middle East is not its only source.
“We have new threats coming from countries like Iran and China and Russia and have a different type of warfare,” she said. “We need to modernize our forces and think a little bit differently.”
Spartz cited cyber attacks as a form of terrorism, and said the U.S. should strengthen relationships with allies to make sure we are fortified against attacks in any form.
She believes our quick withdrawal has likely damaged our credibility with allies.
“We need to build some of these relations back and reassure them that we are going to stand with them. But, all this has happened and it will take us some time to restore that credibility.”
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