This morning Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen gave a pair of high profile interviews aimed primarily at defending the need to continue the increasingly unpopular and unsuccessful war in Afghanistan. His case was that the war needed to continue to prevent al-Qaeda from being able to attack the US.
At the same time, Admiral Mullen insisted that despite the ongoing war, al-Qaeda remains “very capable” of launching attacks on the United States, and that the group is “very focused” on doing so. He blamed Taliban fighters in both Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan for al-Qaeda’s continued capability.
A series of recent polls have suggested for the first time in its nearly eight-year history, most Americans are opposed to the Afghan War. This comes at a time when President Obama is continuing to escalate a war he insists is a “necessity.”
Admiral Mullen has said the war’s growing unpopularity is a matter of some concern to him, but he insists that President Obama’s orders will ensure it will continue anyhow. He also said he had no idea how much longer the war would take, but he might have a better idea in another 12-18 months. British officials have suggested the war could last “decades.”