Local Congressman Says Afghan Policy Failed

By Paul Krueger
|  Friday, Sep 21, 2012  |  Updated 7:15 PM PDT
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Local Congressman Says Afghan Policy Failed

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The U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan is over.

But a local Congressman who fought in that country as a Marine, told NBC 7 San Diego that our nation’s military policy in Afghanistan has failed.

The U.S. military has brought home 33,000 troops sent to Afghanistan two years ago.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the troop surge has reversed the Taliban's momentum, and bolstered the Afghan National Security force.

But Congressman Duncan D. Hunter says deadly "insider attacks" against U.S. troops reveal how little progress has been made.

"I think the time for winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people is over,” Congressman Hunter told NBC 7. “And it's simply time for America to look out for her interests in whatever way possible, without committing more troops to Afghanistan."

Hunter said the Afghan military is not our ally, and cannot be trusted.

"If your friend is going to shoot you in the back, [he’s] no longer a friend, and [he’s] no longer an ally. [He’s] our enemy. And if that was [our] plan, which it was, then the plan has been shot to hell," explained Congressman Hunter.

Hunter said he wants U.S. troops out of the danger zone, and instead wants to use military intelligence and other non-combat resources to track Al-Qaeda and prevent terror attacks on U-S targets.

"And you don't necessarily need more troops to simply make sure that America's interest are being watched out for, and that we're able to gather intelligence,” the Congressman said.

But Paul Krumenacker, a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, and Middle East combat veteran, thinks the sacrifice of U.S. military lives in Afghanistan has not been in vain.

"It's a thousand times better there today than it was before,” Krumenacker said. “Women can now go to school. The literacy rate is up, people are starting businesses. We’re not forcing them. We’re showing them the way.”

Krumenacker says America's effort in Afghanistan is a noble one that has planted seeds of democracy, literacy, and women's rights.

He says he'd go there tomorrow, to continue that fight.

But he understands that not all Americans feel that way.

“If you talk to a family member who just lost one of their sons and they're grief-stricken, they might make a different choice,” Krumenacker said."

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