As the Trump administration eyes a withdrawal from Afghanistan, a national defense analyst says the goal should be to keep terrorists from exporting bloodshed around the globe.
Afghanistan's president has vowed to "eliminate" all safe havens for the Islamic State terrorist group after a horrific wedding attack killed at least 63 people and wounded approximately 200 others.
On Monday, at least 66 people were wounded in a series of explosions in the eastern city of Jalalabad.
Many outraged Afghans are asking whether an approaching deal between the United States and the Taliban to end nearly 18 years of fighting will bring peace to long-suffering civilians.
Bob Maginnis, a senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council, says it appears the hated Taliban is not controlling the country or ISIS would not be operating there.
“But ISIS has a place,” he says, “as well as a few other splinter radical Islamic groups."
Maginnis, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, insists the U.S. is best served by having less of a footprint in the Islamic country. One option he favors, he says, is to use “proxies” to remain there.
“And of course the proxy idea is promoted by people like the former Blackwater people that say, Yeah, we'll go over there and we'll watch for you, and it's basically contract hires."
Whatever happens, Maginnis says, Afghanistan should not be allowed to become a hotbed of international terrorism again.
Reacting to the wedding bombing, President Donald Trump told reporters he doesn't want Afghanistan to be a "laboratory for terror."