“Counter-terrorism will allow us to either kill or capture the bad guys. If we kill off all the bad guys it’s a good thing but if we don’t have a counter insurgency program new bad guys get trained and then will come back in. We have to make Afghanistan completely inhospitable to Al Qaeda and its friends,” a former operative explains. This security strategy would help to establish that supporting the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is in the locals' best interest.
The only way to successfully neutralize the Taliban is to have a counter insurgency commitment for a minimum of ten years. A former operative explained that it will take many years to achieve this goal “because it is a not a reconstruction program but a construction program.” Robert Grenier, a former station chief, wants Americans to understand that this will not be “a clean war where you defeat the enemy and go home. Over time the Taliban can be marginalized and the Afghans can control them but that will take a very long time, years.”
These former CIA employees felt the Obama administration needs to get Americans to support a full throttle counter insurgency policy. Kent Clizbe, a former operative, felt that “if we want to win, there is no room for half measures or for Joe Biden’s policy of ‘walk softly and carry a small UAV' strategy.” Another high ranking former CIA official sarcastically stated that it is a matter of leadership. “If the policy is explained to the American people, they will understand that [Afghanistan] is a place that can’t be abandoned. It’s common sense that we can’t walk away from it.”