NATO Denies al-Qaeda Returning to Afghanistan

Rejects Claims of Growing Influence in East Afghanistan

NATO’s spokesman in Afghanistan Lt. Col John Dorrian has rejected reports in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal claiming that al-Qaeda was making a comeback in Eastern Afghanistan, bolstered by US troop movements out of that region and into the hotly contest regions elsewhere in the nation.

It is an overstatement to say that al-Qaeda has taken hold in Afghanistan,” noted Dorrian, who added that NATO was closely monitoring the region for possible al-Qaeda training camps to prevent such a possibility.

Former commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal reported in late 2009 that there was no indication of any significant al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan, and comments since then have repeatedly confirmed that the organization has left the nation for greener pastures elsewhere. Despite this, President Obama and other officials constantly make reference to al-Qaeda in explaining why the war, now in its tenth year, is still going on.

Though violence in Afghanistan is continually worsening, it is not al-Qaeda but rather the pre-2001 government, the Taliban, which is fighting the NATO occupation. Unlike the virtually non-existant al-Qaeda, Taliban forces have a strong presence virtually across the nation.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.