Pentagon admits counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan now “more difficult”

The Pentagon has contradicted the White House when it comes to American’s ability to identify and stop ‘over the horizon’ terror threats. Last week, the Biden Administration boasted about the nation’s ability to continue tracking and stopping the growth of terror cells in Afghanistan in the absence of troops and operatives on the ground.

“But that is our clear leverage we have with the Taliban.  And again, our capacities are over-the-horizon capacities — which, by the way, killed two ISIS terrorists just last week and continue to be utilized by our men and women on the ground — remain in place and remain in place in the region,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said when asked if the U.S. still maintains leverage over the terrorists. “I would say the fact that we have had two successful strikes confirmed by CENTCOM tells you that our over-the-horizon capacity works and is working.”

Now, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin contradicted Psaki’s claim, saying there was “no question” that it will be “more difficult” to identify terror threats going forward in Afghanistan.

“Well, there’s no question that it will be more difficult to identify and engage threats that emanate from the region, but we’re committed to making sure that threats are not allowed to develop … that could create significant challenges for us in the homeland,” Austin told reporters.

Austin did re-iterate the White House stance that America can conduct over-the-horizon attacks, but with limited intelligence on the ground, identify targets becomes harder.

“There isn’t a scrap of earth that we can’t reach out and touch when we need to,” Austin said. “We’ve demonstrated that time, and time again, and again.” 

Now, the U.S. will have to rely on the Taliban for intelligence about terror groups operating in the region. Two weeks ago, Taliban fighters freed thousands of ISIS prisoners as they liberated their country from the American-backed government.

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