Gen. Votel Contradicts Trump on Foreign Policy, Now Hypes Afghanistan ‘Threat’

Says ISIS Afghanistan poses a 'major threat' to US

Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel is increasingly willing to publicly contradict President Trump on foreign policy stances, historically not something active US military leadership has done.

Votel went out of his way to oppose President Trump’s Syria policy during recent testimony to Congress, and is now laying the groundwork for a similar disagreement with comments to reporters on the ‘dangerous threat’ of ISIS in Afghanistan.

President Trump hasn’t announced a withdrawal from Afghanistan yet, but peace talks with the Taliban are heading in that direction, with negotiators hoping to have a deal done in a matter of months. The Taliban wants US troops out, and has offered to keep al-Qaeda and ISIS out of Afghanistan.

Votel presented ISIS in Afghanistan as a “very sophisticated and dangerous threat,” while another, unnamed official was quoted saying they are “closest to having the capacity to attack the homeland from Afghanistan.”

In both Syria and Afghanistan, administration policy of ending wars is not sitting well with Pentagon leadership that has built their ISIS strategy as permanent warfare. 18 years into Afghanistan, Votel seems set to publicly resist a pullout.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.