It's one thing to sit here in Washington, D.C., and say, "It's no problem. Do away with it." I think it's important to listen to the troops who are affected and take into account the views of the senior leadership and military leadership of the armed forces.
TAPPER: All right. And let's move on to Afghanistan. This fall, operations in Afghanistan will be nine years old, an operation that began when you were secretary of state. Even when all the troops get in there, we'll have about half of what we had in Iraq in a country much larger and much less advanced -- far less advanced.
Here's General Stanley McChrystal on PBS this month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCHRYSTAL: I think that in the last year we've made a lot of progress. I think I'd be prepared to say nobody is winning at this point, where the insurgents, I think, felt that they had momentum a year ago, felt that they were making clear progress. I think that's stopped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Now, the Powell doctrine is overwhelming force...
POWELL: Decisive force.
TAPPER: ... decisive force...
POWELL: Be very precise.
TAPPER: I'm sorry. It's your doctrine. You get to tell me what it is.
TAPPER: But decisive force, and at the same time, support from the public.
TAPPER: Right? That's a key component. This war right now does not have support from the public. And I don't know if it -- the force is decisive. If General McChrystal is saying, after all this, the improvement means we're at a draw, I don't know if that's decisive. Are they adhering to the Powell doctrine?
POWELL: Well, the Powell doctrine is the Powell doctrine. It's not in any military magazine or military field manual. But what it reflects is classic military thought.
And what's called the Powell doctrine is essentially the principle of objective and mass. You decide what it is you're trying to achieve, and then you apply the mass needed to achieve that objective...
TAPPER: Are they?
POWELL: ... in a decisive way. The president has added close to 68,000 troops in the last year, since he came into office, not just the 30,000 you hear, but the others that were added before that. So 68,000 troops were added to it.
That is a significant number. And, remember, they're not going after a fixed enemy. They're trying to control ground. They're trying to give some comfort to people that their life is going to get better.
And I'm sure anywhere you put an American infantry or Marine battalion or one of our NATO battalions, things are going to get quiet, things are going to get better. But as Stan McChrystal said, at that point, it is still a draw, because you have to bring in Afghan national authorities, you have to bring in the Afghan army and the Afghan police to take it over. You've got to get the people to buy into it.
So I don't think he was saying it's a draw forever. What he was saying is, we have stopped the Taliban advance. We have contained that. And now it is time...
TAPPER: Well, no, the opposite of it's a draw forever. I mean, he's saying, when we withdraw, they might take over again.
POWELL: That may well be the case, because ultimately the -- the United States Army and Marine Corps cannot remain in Afghanistan forever as police forces.