Intel Chairman Mike Rogers Gets Right to the Point on Afghanistan

By Jeffrey Goldberg

I spent some time with Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, last week, and he was refreshingly blunt on the muddle that is our Afghanistan policy. Here are a couple of his thoughts (you can read more here):

"The administration is talking about negotiating with the very people we've been trying to discredit for 10 years. We've been trying to gain the support of people who are scared to death of the Taliban, and now they're scared to death that we're trying to bring the Taliban back."

And on what I fear is the coming abandonment of Afghanistan's women, he had this to say:

"We said to these women that we're with them. What are we saying to them now? I was in one of the first congressional delegations into the country, and I met a woman, a doctor, who spoke better English than I do. She has a U.S. medical degree. She took me to her hospital, a children's hospital. She told me that when she first heard of the fighting in 2001, she took off her burqa and walked something like 25 or 30 miles to the hospital. She had basically been a prisoner in her husband's house for three years, and now she was doing surgeries."

He continued: "And I get angry now because we're walking away from her. We're inviting the people, the Taliban, back, the very people who shoot people in soccer stadiums, who chop peoples' heads off. What message does that send to her? That she might as well put on her burqa and walk back to her husband's house?"

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/intel-chairman-mike-rogers-gets-right-to-the-point-on-afghanistan/255998/