National Security

Taliban gaining ground in Afghanistan, former CIA chief says

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Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) acting director Michael Morell predicts Afghanistan will reemerge as a pivotal foreign policy issue in 2016 amid major geopolitical gains made by the Taliban in the last year.

“I think one big challenge is going to be the reemergence of Afghanistan as an issue,” Morell said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“The Taliban have made major gains over the last year. I would expect major gains going forward. They control more territory than they have in a number of years,” he added.

Morell said the debate on how many troops to keep in the region will take center stage in Washington.

“I think the debate on how many troops we keep in Afghanistan is going to reopen,” he said. “General Campbell already last week said we need upwards of 10,000 troops, which is double the number the president is currently looking at.”

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