WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama acknowledged on Monday that 13 years of a US-led war could not bring peace to Afghanistan.
In an interview to a CBS News talk show “60-Minute,” President Obama also rejected the suggestion to send more US troops to Syria and Iraq to combat the self-styled IS militants.
“Let’s take the example of Afghanistan. We’ve been there 13 years now close to 13 years. And it’s still hard in Afghanistan,” said Mr Obama while explaining why he was reluctant to send US troops to new fronts.
“Today, after all the investments we have there (in Afghanistan), and we still have thousands of troops there,” he said. “So the notion that after a year in Syria, … somehow we would be able to solve this quickly is an illusion”.
He noted that the situation in Syria was different from Afghanistan because the Afghan government had asked the United States and its allies to send their troops to fight the Taliban.
“Syria (is) … a country where the existing government hasn’t invited us in, but is actively keeping us out,” he said.
President Obama said he knew there were factions inside the Republican Party who wanted America to “send endless numbers of troops into the Middle East”.
For such people, he added, the only measure of strength was “sending back several hundred thousand troops” to war.
Mr Obama said the United States no longer could impose peace or police a region. Such an action, he said, would get thousands of Americans troops killed or injured and cost Washington trillions of dollars.