WASHINGTON - The United States is winning the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, a top Pentagon general told lawmakers but cautioned that losing the fight would result in regional instability.
“The region will become unstable. I think there will be problems on Pakistan's border. Iran will be encouraged to become even more regionally aggressive,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman told senators at a hearing.
Gen. Martin Dempsey said: "We could find a reemergence of violent extremist groups. The difference between winning and losing is certainly what we do between now and the end of '14 but also, I think, the commitment we make beyond..."
Senator Lindsey Graham argued for at least a small force in Afghanistan after 2014. “We don't need a hundred thousand troops in Afghanistan post-2014. I think we need a residual force to maintain confidence and capabilities the Afghans do not have so we can end this war well.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called next year’s presidential elections in Afghanistan a key component because it was about confidence, self-governance and human rights.
"I would say one could make a very strong argument that what really hangs in the balance in Afghanistan right now is the confidence of the Afghan security forces and the confidence of the Afghan people in them to preserve a measure of stability after our departure," Dempsey said. (Pajhwok)