May 6th, 2012
02:31 PM ET

Feinstein and Rogers: Taliban stronger now than before Afghanistan surge

The heads of the Senate and House intelligence committees said Sunday the Taliban was gaining ground, just days after President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan and touted the progress made in the war on terror.

“I think we'd both say that what we found is that the Taliban is stronger,” said Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein on CNN’s “State of the Union,” while sitting with Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan.

As first reported on Security Clearance on Friday, Rogers said his recent trip demonstrated that the military and intelligence officials he met with were in disagreement  with intelligence officials believing the Taliban were significantly stronger than just a few years ago.

Here's what the two intelligence committee chairs said on State of the Union:

CROWLEY: So can I just - do you think that comparing it to when the surge came in Afghanistan, when the president sent more troops in, is the Taliban now weaker or stronger?

FEINSTEIN: I think we'd both say that what we found is that the Taliban is stronger.

ROGERS: Yes.

CROWLEY: So how...

FEINSTEIN: Agree?

ROGERS: Yes, I do agree with you.

CROWLEY: ... are we going to ever leave - you both agree with this. I'm assuming you both have information that I don't have, and I'm wondering, A, why the president has said they're weaker now, and, B, what that means for U.S. withdrawal?

ROGERS: Well, we have to decide, and we're going to have to have a hard conversation inAmerica. Are we willing to leave and have a safe haven re-form in Afghanistan? We have to remember, this is tied back...

CROWLEY: By re-form you mean re-dash-form.

ROGERS: Yes, exactly. This is a huge problem. And what we have found is maybe the policies, the announced date of withdrawal, the negotiations with the Taliban, have worked against what our endgame is here. And we ought to have a hard discussion about saying, listen, war is when one side wins and one side loses.

Feinstein and Rogers' read on the relative strength of the Taliban is markedly different than the president's who, in an address to the nation on Tuesday during his unannounced visit to Afghanistan, said the insurgency was on the decline.

"Over the last three years, the tide has turned. We broke the Taliban's momentum," he said.

A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF, told CNN's Nick Paton Walsh on Sunday that Rogers' assessment that intelligence and military were in disagreement about the state of the Taliban was "false."  But Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, the ISAF spokesman, then went on to say that the disparity in opinion was a good thing:

“Any perceived disconnect between the intelligence community and operational commanders is false. Commanders rely on intelligence data from multiple sources and each one of these organizations may collect and assess data slightly differently. This process allows for robust dialogue among leaders in order to best capture a complete picture of the campaign. It is a positive indication that there may be a difference in assessment of Taliban capability because this allows for a more comprehensive look at our operations. In the end, however, the battlefield commander will make adjustments to his campaign based on the best available information and will continue to evaluate this and make the necessary adjustments as more intelligence is received and evaluated.

We have said many times that an insurgency cannot be defeated through foreign intervention alone. It takes indigenous forces and ultimately a political solution to end an insurgency. Operationally, the coalition forces along with our Afghan partners are having much success in taking Taliban leadership off the battlefield. They may be able to replace them in terms of numbers but they are not able to replace the experience and capability that our forces and the ANSF are taking off the battlefield.”

Read more about the State of the Union interview on CNN's Political Ticker.

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. lotsnomovom

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    July 18, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
    • Max

      Actually, it appears the Muslims have more rersmoe over 9/11/01 than the christians do. How come they're not building a Pentecostal church down there where they speak in tongues and herd snakes? Huh? I guess the christians don't care about 9/11. All religions are cults and indoctrination. The End.

      July 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  2. Lalaq

    I love your videos vice but I can only watch them on yutoube because your videos skip on your website. Even at low quality. If there wasn't that problem I would watch your videos everyday. I'm sure there are many other people with this problem.

    June 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  3. (See) DOWNLOAD MP4/3GP VIDEOS FOR FREE PLEASE NOTE: U MUST BE 18

    they are of no use again

    May 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  4. Frank Oliver

    Don't understand: Talibans are ignorant, backward, tribal, hide theselves in burkas, are coward and above all they are Muslims. They are supposed to be easy to beat by any reasonabely modern army not to mention the cream of the world powers as is Nato/ISAF/US/Europe blend of warriors with all their most sofisticated arsenal. How do they dare to be strong(er) now?
    Damn it: seems the samart guys in the freee and democratic west miscalculated (one more time) the power of a nation that is not willing to bend itself to invaders!
    Well, I think yuo just pack your shit and go back to where you belong and leave those people to decide on their county's fate and future on their own.
    What else?

    May 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Reply
    • John McClane

      Ya know what, pal? I agree with you. I think all U.S. Troops, all NATO forces, should pack up and leave right now. I think we should also shut down any foreign aid going into Afghanistan and just see how it's looking in five year's time.

      If it's become, yet again, a backwards, theocratic state that would be more at home in the 13th century than the 21st and terrorists are again trying to strike out at foreign nations from there because Afghanistan either A) welcomes their presence, or B) is too corrupt, inept, and ignorant to control their own territory, we don't set one boot on the ground and just bomb you back to the Stone Age from the air.

      From what I've seen, that wouldn't make a huge difference.

      May 7, 2012 at 6:22 am | Reply
  5. juke sir godfrey

    evil in the eyes, two puppets dont have any idea how its like to be away from home for so long, wake up and smell the fresh air, afghan forces are ready the war in afghanistan is offically over

    May 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • cadsd

      Muslims try fooling ppl by quoting:"Whoever kills a person, unless for murder or mischief/corruption, is like they killed all mankind" [Quran 5:32]

      This verse says, you can kill someone for doing mischief. Here is islam’s definition of mischief (according to muhammad’s companion Qatada):

      "(And when it is said to them: Do not make mischief on the earth), means, Do not commit acts of disobedience on the earth. Their mischief is disobeying Allah, because whoever disobeys Allah on the earth, or commands that Allah be disobeyed, he has committed mischief on the earth."
      [Tafsir ibn Kathir]

      The above view is further backed up by Sahih Muslim 1:176, which suggests that killing/fighting non muslims is preventing mischief. Killing Muslims deliberately is promoting mischief. Furthermore, according to Sahih Bukhari 9:83:50, Sahih Bukhari 1:3:111, and Sahih Bukhari 4:52:283 "no Muslim should be killed in Qisas (equality in punishment) for killing a Kafiir (disbeliever)", and Sahih Bukhari 1:8:387, which indicates only muslim life is sacred.

      Muslim scholar "ibn kathir", says that this only applies to muslims according to those who knew muhammad companions:
      "Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "He who allows himself to shed the blood of a Muslim, is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people. He who forbids shedding the blood of one Muslim, is like he who forbids shedding the blood of all people."
      [Tafsir ibn kathir]

      Another famous muslim scholar:

      "Whoever slays a soul (unless for, corruption, committed, in the land, in the way of "unbelief", fornication or waylaying and the like), it shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether
      [Al-Suyuti’s Tafsir al Jalayn, Surah al-Ma'idah, ayah 32]

      May 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  6. Carl

    No useful information like how they are getting their funding way out in the middle of nowhere.

    May 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  7. CNN

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvEPmOOpg4w&w=640&h=360]

    May 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  8. Shiraz

    The biggest mistake was equating AQ and Taliban. While AQ had and have a much bigger agenda and area of influence and operation, Taliban were and still are confined within Afghanistan. AQ was and is as much a problem for Muslim world as it is for US and Europe. Taliban are stronger because the very corrupt, inept, merciless and ruthless warlords which they toppled have been promoted by ISAF and NATO forces and are back at the helm of affairs. Read news about what is happening in Afghanistan with young men, women and kids, by its institutions and the people running them. Its horrible for a civilized person to know about them. Such news are usually suppressed by mainstream media but independent right groups publish them on their media channels.

    Afghans are turning to Taliban because even with all their rigidity and conservative attitude, they were at least much better then the bunch being promoted as the savior of Afghanistan by western media and leaders.

    Face the truth. Taliban are stronger. There is some reason behind.

    May 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • Evil Socialist

      And remember, the Taliban's tribal chiefs actually did try to oust bin-Laden from Afghanistan.

      May 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • cadsd

      Have you ever considered why Taliban fights the Pakistan & Afghan government?
      Taliban thinks thesegovernment are apostates. This is because Quran says: “Whosoever rules by other than what Allah revealed, is a kafir (infidel)”[Quran 5: 44]

      Islam QA says that those Muslims who don’t implement sharia law, are apostates and must be killed (fatwa 974)

      Muhammad said to kill apostates: "Whoever changes his religion, kill him" [Sahih Bukhari 4: 52:260]

      Taliban kill who they consider fake muslims (apostates) because muhammad indicated Muslims who leave Islam must be fought:

      “Salamah bin Nufayl that he went to the Messenger of Allah and said, "I have let my horse go, and thrown down my weapon, for the war has ended. There is no more fighting. Then the Prophet said to him, Now the time of fighting has come. There will always be a group of my Ummah dominant over others. Allah will turn the hearts of some people away (from the truth), so they (that group) will fight against them, and Allah will bestow on them (war spoils) from them (the enemies) - until Allah's command comes to pass while they are in that state.” [Sunan an-Nasa'i (3591)]

      Its as simple as that.

      May 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  9. Steve

    Who cares!

    May 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  10. Allan

    The Taliban also get support from Pakistan's ISI.

    May 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  11. Portland tony

    After ten years of allied occupation wouldn't you think the Taliban has learned a few things? Needless to say they have incorporated some of our tactics, countermeasures, and methods of command and control. Probably have accumulated a few of our weapons too. The Taliban may be zealots, but they know how to fight!

    May 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  12. Paul

    So?

    "Taliban not our Enemy" – Joe Biden.

    May 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply

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