Lifting restrictions on U.S. forces fighting Taliban in Afghanistan shows Rumsfeld's strategy fails: expert

Zhang Tao

BEIJING, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Washington's decision to lift restrictions on U.S. forces fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan showed that the strategy of former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had failed, an expert said Friday.

The Obama administration has decided to give broader authority to the U.S. military commanders to "anticipate situations in which the Afghan security forces would benefit from our support," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a defense conference in Washington Friday, calling the expanded authority "a good use of the combat power that we have there."

"The debacle is yet another nail in the coffin of the Rumsfeld Doctrine with its reliance on air supremacy, high-tech weaponry, and light and nimble ground forces," Russian news agency Sputnik quoted foreign affairs expert Dan Lazare as saying.

The Rumsfeld Doctrine was applied in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003, but in both cases the U.S. armed forces failed to send enough forces to ensure security in either country, opening the way for the Taliban, al-Qaida, and the Islamic State military group to launch insurgencies, Lazare said.

Lazare also dismissed the new U.S. support policy as a minor measure almost certain to fail.

"It's just another half-hearted measure aimed at ratcheting up the pressure and making it look (like) the U.S. military is getting somewhere, when it's not. The long-term effect will be nil," he concluded.

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