Retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor said the "globalist elite" on Capitol Hill, at the Pentagon, and in the State Department want the ongoing 17-year-old War in Afghanistan to continue. Macgregor said leaving the Mid-East nation would mean a hit to the defense budget in an interview with Tucker Carlson on FOX News.
"This is what the globalist elite on the Hill wants," he said about the ongoing war. "They're behind this. They and their Lobby. And now, the globalist elite actually includes the senior ranks in the Pentagon as well as most of the people in the State Department. So, there's enormous pressure on the President to stay."
"All of this is part of keeping us engaged overseas. And remember, it's the overseas commitments that are the basis for the enormous defense spending. Take those commitments away, and the defense budget starts to decline precipitously," the retired general said.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: After 17 years, American troops are still in Afghanistan. It costs billions and billions of dollars. American lives are still in danger. Some reports say the U.S. has given up on the prospect of victory in that war. And yet, it continues, and Americans are still dying.
A reminder, just yesterday, three more American soldiers killed in an attack that brings the death toll for the year to 12. Now, American lives, sometimes, must be sacrificed for the sake of the nation. That's the sad truth. But it's a high bar. And does Afghanistan meet that bar in 2018?
Douglas Macgregor is a former Army Colonel, Author of the book, Margin of Victory, and he joins us tonight. Colonel, thanks for coming on. Simple question.
DOUGLAS MACGREGOR, RETIRED U.S. ARMY COLONEL, AUTHOR, CONSULTANT: Thank you.
CARLSON: Does Afghanistan meet that test?
MACGREGOR: Oh, absolutely not. It didn't meet the test within the first six months of staying in Afghanistan. There was no reason for us to remain in that country. Our principal interest was in a few hundred people, subordinate to our friend, Osama bin Laden.
Unfortunately, we went in. We changed the mission. We turned it into a nation-building proposition. And we've been there now for 17 years, lost $2 trillion, thousands of lives.
But this is what the globalist elite on the Hill wants. They're behind this. They and their Lobby. And now, the globalist elite actually includes the senior ranks in the Pentagon as well as most of the people in the State Department. So, there's enormous pressure on the President to stay.
CARLSON: Right below the senior ranks, among combat-tested Colonels, for example--
CARLSON: --a group you know well--
CARLSON: --what percentage believe, do you think, that we should stay in Afghanistan?
MACGREGOR: Well, first of all, I don't think any of them do. But the ones who want to be generals or think that they have a shot at being Generals will naturally provide you with all sorts of rationales. "Oh, well ISIS is now here."
It's interesting how ISIS springs up like McDonald's just about everywhere we go. And then there are other reasons, special minerals, rare earths. If we leave, the Chinese will harvest them. Therefore, we have to stay. So--
CARLSON: Aren't the Chinese already harvesting them?
MACGREGOR: Well not quite. But I'm sure they probably will. How long that will last is anybody's guess. But we can go elsewhere. There's no particular reason why we should be in Afghanistan for the purpose of that. That has nothing to do with the original intent.
All of this is part of keeping us engaged overseas. And remember, it's the overseas commitments that are the basis for the enormous defense spending. Take those commitments away, and the defense budget starts to decline precipitously.
CARLSON: I noticed in Bob Woodward's book, the - the really the focus of a lot of the rage at Trump stemmed from him questioning the wisdom of staying in Afghanistan.
MACGREGOR: Sure. Well, especially from people like Mattis, Dunford, the senior officers who had served over there and how could we possibly leave? We're there. Once there, we can never go.
In other words, wherever the flag has been raised, we must remain in perpetuity. If we leave, chaos will break out. Actually, if we leave, Iran, Russia, India, Pakistan will all have to become involved, and that's fine. Let them become involved.
CARLSON: Colonel Douglas Macgregor, always a voice of clarity. Thank you.