Former CIA director: Afghanistan needs US troops

AP News
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Posted: Aug 10, 2011 7:25 PM
Former CIA director: Afghanistan needs US troops

The former director of the CIA says President Barack Obama is pulling troops from Afghanistan too soon.

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Wednesday at a forum in Utah that it would be more strategic to draw down American troops after summer 2012, when fighting is expected to be heaviest.

Hayden says some American troops should remain in Afghanistan for the long term, even if the number of troops is relatively small.

He says the commitment of troops is more important for stability in the region than the number of troops.

Hayden says terrorist groups in Afghanistan and neighboring countries will continue to cause problems without a long-term military commitment from the U.S.

Hayden spoke at a forum hosted by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch at the Utah Capitol.