Transcript: Feinstein, Chambliss, McGovern, Keane

What's your answer to that question, Senator Feinstein?

FEINSTEIN: I think it depends on what you mean by "Taliban." I think if you take the Haqqani network, which I gather was generally responsible for the bombing of the interior ministry in Kabul, I think they're hardcore fanatics.

If you look back, too, at Taliban control, when it had more in the earlier days, and I've got to tell you, I particularly worry about women in Afghanistan, acid in their face of children, girl children who go to school, women who can't work when they're widowed, huddled on the streets, begging, women beaten and shot in stadiums, you know, Sharia law with all of its violence, I mean, that's one element of the -- of the Taliban.

I think we need to look for those warlords that we can work with, those Pashtuns who want to work for stability, for good, solid governance. I don't think we can make the country into a Jeffersonian democracy, but I do think you -- you've got to stabilize this country.

You leave this country, and the Taliban are increasing all of the time. They're taking over more. It will have a dramatic impact on Pakistan one day. I really believe that.

FEINSTEIN: Now, should we stay there for 10, 12 years? General, I don't think so. I don't think the American people are up for that or want that. But I think -- I don't know how you put somebody in who was as crackerjack as General McChrystal, who gives the president very solid recommendations, and not take those recommendations if you're not going to pull out.

If you don't want to take the recommendations, then you -- you -- you put your people in such jeopardy, just like the base in Nuristan. We lost eight of our men. We didn't have the ability to defend them, and now the base is closing, and effectively we're -- we're retreating away from it. And so I think the decision has to be made sooner, rather than later.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you've got Democrat and Republican agreeing to accept the McChrystal recommendations right now. I think part of the reason, though, Senator Chambliss, that the president is at least rethinking this right now is that concern that -- that Congressman McGovern talked about, about the footprint, about your increasing the -- the number of troops in a way that might be counterproductive, that might drive more people into the arms of the Taliban.

CHAMBLISS: Well, you're not going to increase the footprint just for the sake of adding more troops. It's got to be done for the right purpose, and obviously, that's what the president's got under consideration right now.

Two things, though. One, we've got an Afghan citizen that is simply a better fighter than what we had in Iraq. And I think we have the opportunity to train those folks at a quicker pace than what we did in Iraq and, ultimately, turn the -- both the military and the -- and the police over to the Afghan people to run that country. That's our goal there.

Secondly, you can't de-link Pakistan and Afghanistan. They are coupled together. If Afghanistan falls, if we pull out and it goes totally in the hands of the Taliban, it doesn't make any difference whether there are 100 Al Qaida in there right now or not or whether there are 1,000 across the board or in -- going back and forth. We know that the neighboring country has the opportunity to be really invaded or encroached upon by bad guys.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to get to that question. I'm going to bring that to General Keane, as well.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...