No “well-spring” of anti-American sentiments: Dempsey
“I don't perceive a well-spring of anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan,” the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.
Dempsey was responding to questions about anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan as reflected after a suicide bombing in Kabul.
“But at times and places where the Taliban re-emerge and for periods of time take back control, there's always this notion that somehow we could have prevented that,” he said.
“I think all of us in uniform and all of the secretaries with whom I've worked have always pointed out that Afghanistan's future will be one of conflict for some time until they reconcile their internal differences,” he said.
He said that the key is that the central government can maintain control. So if a district center falls, it has to be recaptured. And to this point, in every case, the ANSF have proven themselves capable of doing that. But they still need help.
Responding to another question, Dempsey said some terrorist groups in Afghanistan have re-branded themselves.
“What we've said from the beginning is that ISIL is trans-regional. That is, it's not isolated to Iraq and Afghanistan. You know, there's also groups in Afghanistan that have re-branded themselves under the ISIL ideology and that stretches over to Boko Haram in Nigeria, which has also expressed its affiliation with ISIL. So it's trans-regional,” he said.
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