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First of all, we were there to preserve our and protect our own interests, our security interests. We know for a fact, right, we know from historical experience that terrorist organizations, when they control territory and populations and resources, that they become orders of magnitude more dangerous, right? We saw that with the mass murder attacks of 9/11. We saw it again when Vice President Biden thanked President Obama for ending the war in Iraq. Well, hey, wars don't end when one party disengages. And, of course, in Iraq, we saw al-Qaida in Iraq morph into ISIS, the most destructive terrorist organization in history. And then, of course, we had to go back. What I found also that I — was fundamentally, I think, wrong about the president's approach here is that he thinks that a lost war in Afghanistan isn't going to have consequences. We're already seeing the horrible humanitarian consequences, but there will be severe political consequences, in connection with our credibility with our allies and partners and other countries who will wonder how reliable we are. But, of course, it will have big security implications in connection with jihadist terrorists who will declare victory over the world's only superpower.

– Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster

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