WASHINGTON: The United States should have taken advantage of Osama bin Laden’s death by withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, the former Saudi ambassador to Washington said Wednesday.
While the killing of the al Qaeda leader “is not the end of the terrorism,” it “should have been given more value, more worth by the US people,” said Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, speaking at a think tank in the US capital.
Bin Laden’s death “would have been the perfect moment for a US president to say this is the timetable to withdraw our troops,” said the prince, a former chief of Saudi intelligence.
“It would have been the perfect moment to declare victory and withdraw from Afghanistan … and not to continue with this endless fight,” he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“I see us inevitably withdrawing from Afghanistan. I see us doing it somewhere around 2014,” added John Negroponte, a former US diplomat and the first director of national intelligence under president George W. Bush.
Negroponte and Faisal discussed the evolution of the terrorism threat days ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Negroponte recognized “the power of the information technologies put into the hands of our intelligence community in terms of …. targeting terrorists” over the past decade.
“We’re moving to a better understanding of the rest of the world,” he said.
Faisal highlighted the need for an international counterterrorism center.
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