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Elect Barack Obama this week -- re appoint -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates but.
While he may keep the same man he clearly wants to change -- strategy in the war on terror refocusing away from Iraq and war towards Afghanistan.
So could a surge in Afghanistan be as successful as our surge in Iraq -- our next guest has seen the Afghan battleground firsthand.
Colonel Oliver North and is Fox News war stories team spent a month and Afghanistan embedded with the Marines last August colonel north is of course no stranger to combat and the dangers that problem.
With the territory serving more than two decades as a marine himself and a lot of time for Fox News covering the war in Iraq.
We welcome -- Fox News war stories host colonel Oliver -- good to -- colonel thanks for -- -- be with you David you're my best to -- -- I sure -- simplify -- Let's ask about Afghanistan let's talk about it because it's it's been.
I guess it's fair to say a a relative to what's happen in Iraq anyway a low intensity.
Conflict is that fair -- Guess date is today what Mesopotamia was two and a half years ago and of course the increase that the administration's announced gone from 34000.
Is absolutely essential.
Here's what's happening.
Islamic radicals know that their cause is lost in Iraq and so remnants of the Taliban al-Qaeda foreign fighters are flooding in from Pakistan and ran.
And in both countries are getting safe haven training and material support aimed at overthrowing the elected Karzai government.
Despite seven years of UN and NATO quote assistance to Afghanistan.
The Afghan army and police today are smaller than they were seven years ago but 85000 troops or fewer.
The country still is only one paved highway the ring road and and dirt tracks that passed for roads around the rest of the country.
An illicit drug production is out of sight it's the only catch commodity in the country.
None of this has been dealt with by NATO it's up to us -- -- fix this problem.
Well the data you put your finger are being Weston's and other former marine colonel who goes to Afghanistan a lot wrote in the National Journal that in fact NATO is a big problem how to we.
Get them out of the way -- take charge there.
Well what's gonna have to happen is general McCarron it's gonna to be is the overall commander now he and General Petraeus got to work -- out -- their allies basically it calls David for thankfully allies for the third the 37 nations that are out there in addition ours except for the brits the Canadians the Australians.
None of the rest of them fight.
They've all got these so called national caveats and these rules of engagement.
In some cases not even allowed to go outside the wire.
To go out and meet the people as war.
And is one US officer put it to me we're feeding the beast because misery and ignorance are what the Taliban now cater counting.
They -- incoherence.
That NATO is brought out there and the lack of real support from the United Nations has all contributed to this growth of the Taliban of the resurgence but so I can -- -- -- -- yet yet you mentioned something I don't wanna let pass which is that.
A lot of afghanis are not stepping up and doing what the Iraqis did taking over up guarded in terms of -- ending their own country why have they been slow to do that and -- who we encourage him to do more because because quite frankly.
NATO didn't do their job I mean the bottom line of the whole thing is that what NATO did out there was to set up a bunch of -- operating bases and security positions and then never went outside the wire with the exception -- the brits and Canadians and Australians.
-- with the lack of the kind of training that they absolutely need.
You're not gonna get a competent capable Afghan military they will fight they're very brave I saw him out there on the ground -- one on operations.
Along with the US advisors and every one of them.
And they are brave people they don't want to be governed by the Taliban.
They've already had that once they don't want it again.
What they need is the real kind of material support and training that only quite frankly the US can offer.
Are right now how can Defense Secretary Robert Gates take what we have learned in Iraq.
And clearly the reason why pres elect Obama has chosen him to continue wind it's because.
He sees the -- that we've had in Iraq and he wants that he wants to duplicate that in Afghanistan how do you do that.
A lot of the success that we've enjoyed in Iraq is the consequence of reconstruction the reconstruction efforts going all the wrong way in Afghanistan.
I would start immediately by building paved roads throughout all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces it creates jobs it creates lasting infrastructure.
-- it reduces casualties from these improvised explosive devices and mines it also shows the Afghan people that -- government really cares about.
When we were going out -- building a hospital we can't just walk away and assume that there's going to be an Afghan doctor.
In fact there's more Afghan doctors operating in America than there are in Afghanistan.
They've left the country.
We've got to make it secure for them to come home and train the next generation of the big Afghans to take on a big difference colonel of course between Iraq and Afghanistan is oil.
Iraq is floating on oil get billions of dollars in revenue even with the price of welcome a doubt Afghanistan as you mentioned about the only cash crop they have is albeit.
And we don't want that big continuing that's off.
Are we are they gonna become a welfare state to the United States.
No shouldn't be and quite frankly Afghanistan could become self sufficient in agriculture.
It's a productive country when they've got irrigation.
The drug production is going on out there is primarily driven by coercion from the Taliban.
And what they've got to do was stop the drug production not from the bottom up -- the top down.
That means arresting and prosecute the kingpins who in many cases -- provincial leaders in cronies of the Karzai administration.
Then you go for -- replacement and eradicate up but if we haven't they got a large -- Karzai is about the best ally we could possibly hope for Afghanistan I would think and if he can't.
Get rid of of the bombs that are involved in drug trafficking how can anybody else happened -- a lot of I would offer you play in Colombia as an example I know that that rubs a lot of liberals are wrong way David but the fact is plan Colombia work.
By taking and making sure that they prosecute arrested prosecuted and in some cases even extradited -- kingpins they can do the same thing in Afghanistan.
All they need to know is that these guys are gonna show up back on their own streets and target the leadership of those 34 provinces of the national golf course -- difference is -- Colombians.
You know -- -- all due respect for the Afghani leaders -- Colombians have a backbone that I haven't seen from a lot of Third World countries.
Well I would say that the Afghan people one don't want to be ruled by Islamic radicals number two.
-- soldiers when they're properly trained equipped and led and supported.
Are extremely brave and they fight well I've seen it on the ground out there.
They will volunteer to serve in this cut in this country's military international police if they know they're going to be supportive that way.
Colonel Oliver North great to see a colonel thank you very much for --
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