In a Saturday interview from Ramstein, Germany, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin that he believes the conditions in Afghanistan could “likely” develop into a civil war and lead to an resurgence of terror groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Griffin asked Milley the question that has been weighing on the minds of many Americans since Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan– is the U.S. safer today than it was before the withdrawal?
“Well you know this is something that I’ve thought a lot about. And I personally think that my military estimate is is that the conditions are likely to develop of a civil war,” Milley told Griffin.
“I don’t know if the Taliban is gonna be able to consolidate power and establish governance – they may be, maybe not. But I think there’s at least a very good probability of a broader civil war, and that will then in turn lead to conditions that could in fact, lead to reconstitution of al Qaeda or a growth of ISIS or other myriad of terrorist groups,” Milley added.
(Source: Fox News)
No one can be certain of the fate of the middle eastern country.
“You could see a resurgence of terrorism coming out of that general region within 12, 24, 36 months. And we’re going to monitor that,” Milley forecasted.
The general noted that monitoring the rise of terror in the region is going to be difficult from afar.
Milley maintains that the return of any troops to Afghanistan would be a “very difficult policy choice.”
“I wouldn’t say yes or no to anything actually. I think those are, it’s too early to say anything like that at this point,” Milley told Griffin.
President Biden’s preference to counter terrorism from this point forward will be to embrace “over horizon” capabilities by relying on military airstrikes instead of ground-based operations.
While is “possible,” to address terror threats in that manner according to Milley, “We’re going to have to maintain very, very intense levels of indicators and warnings and observation and ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance] over that entire region.”
There has been concern surrounding vetting capabilities and the large number of Afghan refugees that are set to enter America. Many fear the possibility of infiltration by terrorists posing as refugees.
General Milley remains “very comfortable” with the tactics being used to approve refugee entry to the United States.
“What they’re doing as people come in, they’re getting their names registered. They’re doing the biometrics. They check their irises. They do their fingerprints. They take a full facial photo,” Milley described.
Several federal agencies are assisting in this process including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, USAID, the State Department and Customs and Border Protection.
Griffin traveled to Ramstein, Germany to interview the General who was there to thank troops from the U.S. European Command who rushed to create a massive tent city for refugees on the tarmac of the largest U.S. Airbase and transport hub in Europe.
The general’s perspective on the resurgence of terror groups gives credence to the fears of many Americans as the country approaches the 20th anniversary of the devastating 9/11 terror attacks that killed around 3,000 people.
Milley also seemed to suggest that the disastrous evacuation, that included the death of 13 U.S. servicemembers, went as planned.
“I think a couple of things. One, is the collapse of the Afghan Army happened at a much faster rate and very unexpected, by pretty much everybody, and then with that is the collapse of the Afghan government. So, that was definitely a surprise,” he said. “But I will say that there was an awful lot of planning done, ROC drills, rehearsals, etc. And what you saw unfold with this noncombatant evacuation operation was one of the contingency plans.”
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