The United States must keep fighting the Taliban or risk more attacks like those of Sept. 11, 2001, because the insurgent group is a ruthless enemy that has not cut ties to al Qaeda, the U.S. ambassador to Kabul said.
Ryan Crocker, a career diplomat who was ambassador in Iraq, also warned the United States would have to spend billions more in the coming years to bolster Afghanistan’s government and security forces as its own troops prepare to return home.
“What we have to do is I think demonstrate the strategic patience that is necessary to win a long war,” he told Reuters, in an interview ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
“It is going to require more resources, it’s going to require time. I hope we can bring all those to bear, because as hard, painful [and] expensive as this has been in blood and treasure, it has cost a lot less than 9/11 did.”
Crocker described building a stable Afghanistan as “the ultimate guarantee that there will not be another 9/11.”