Jeff Seldin Profile picture
22 Apr, 42 tweets, 28 min read
Happening now: @CENTCOM Commander Gen Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie & @USAfricaCommand Commander Gen Stephen Townsend testify at SASC
.@CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie tells lawmakers he has all the tools he needs to complete the withdrawal from #Afghanistan
"We will lose the abilities we have now to see completely into #Afghanistan" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie, asked by @SenJackReed about impact of withdrawal on intel collection vs #alQaida #ISIS
"It will be difficult. It is not impossible," per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie, re keeping tabs on #alQaida #ISIS in #Afghanistan - same answer he gave House lawmakers earlier this week
"Zero is going to be zero" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie re US troop presence in #Afghanistan following the pullout

"We will have an architecture in theater that will allow us to look into Afghanistan" he says "It will not give us the same picture that we've got now..."
"The ranges will be greater. The resources will be great" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "The risks will all be greater"

"But it will be possible to do those things" he says, of intel surveillance of #alQaida #ISIS in #Afghanistan post pullout
Decision by Trump administration to reposition US forces outside #Somalia-"Since that time we have been commuting to work" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend "We work virtually w/our partners from our bases in the region & then we fly in to conduct training & to advise & assist"
"We've done 4 such operation in the last roughly 90 days - one of them is ongoing right now" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend

"There's no denying the reposition of forces outside #Somalia has introduced new layers of complexity & risk"
Less than 100 troops still in #Somalia, at embassy in #Mogadishu, per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend
"Our understanding of what's happening in #Somalia is less now than it was when we were there on the ground" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend "So we're working to make this new mode of operation work"
"The biggest impact to security in #Somalia right now is less #alShabaab & more so the political disfunction" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend
"Over-the-horizon" approach to #Somalia-"It makes it more difficult. It doesn't make it impossible" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend
Post #Afghanistan withdrawal-security of the embassy in #Kabul will be responsibility of the host nation, per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie

"It is a matter of great concern to me & I think everyone whether the future gvt of Afghanistan is going to be able to do that after we leave"
"if we have concerns about the physical security of the embassy, the United States will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the safety of our diplomats" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie
"#Pakistan is interested in stability in #Afghanistan & I think its going to be very difficult for that stability to remain after we leave" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "Some of this is now going to come back home [to Pakistan]"
Displaced person camps in #Syria-many w/#ISIS followers - "It is one of my very highest concerns" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie, calling #alHol the poster child

"The long term threat is ISIS radicalization..."
"Unless we find a way to pull these children out of these camps...find a way to reintegrate them into civil society & deradicalize them, we are giving ourselves a very significant military problem 10 years down the road" per @CENTCOM's McKenzie
Need for ISR - Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance - in #Africa: "We can do a lot of our work w/contracted solutions" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Stephen Townsend, adding ISR keeps #alShabaab "looks over their shoulder every day...they limit their activity" bcs of ISR
In Africa, "We don't have to compete w/#China head to head, dollar for dollar" per @USAfricaCommand's Townsend "We can target where our investments are best made"
#China in #Djibouti-"What they have done in the last 2 years is completed a very large & capable naval pier that adjoins their base" per Gen Townsend "This pier has a capability to dock their largest ships, to include the Chinese aircraft carrier as well as nuclear submarines"
"They're applying the final coats of paint" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend "I expect that we will see increased Chinese naval presence there..."
#Afghanistan-"My concern is the ability of the #Afghan military to hold the ground that they're on now w/out the support they've been used to for many years" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie, adding "We've weaned them off direct support"
"it's the enabling things that actually give them an edge over the #Taliban" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "All that will be gone..."
"So I am concerned about the ability of the #Afghan military to hold on after we leave, the ability of the #Afghan air force to fly, in particular, after we remove the support for those aircraft" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie
#HavanaSyndrome/directed energy attacks: "I have found no evidence of those attacks in US Central Command" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie, saying he can provide more info in the closed portion of the hearing
"We've not seen that phenomenon in AFRICOM" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend

re #HavanaSyndrome
War on terror-"Certainly the sacrifices have not been in vain" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "I believe we went to #Afghanistan in a good cause. I believe we have in fact prevented attacks on the United States from being generated from Afghanistan"
"The long term view for the war on terror is this: It's not going to be bloodless" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "The war on terror is probably not going to end"
"What we actually seek is the creation of local security where the threats as they arise can be dealt with indigenously" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "We'll see a test of that hypothesis in #Afghanistan in the months ahead"

Says it is working in #Iraq
#Afghanistan's neighbors all want stability, for different reasons, per @CENTCOM Gen McKenzie

"Some of them want, too, they recognize the vast natural resources tat are inherent in Afghanistan & they seek access to that"
#China-#Africa: "We know the Chinese desire a network of bases around the globe" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend, saying in addition to base in #Djibouti, #Beijing has been working to establish on in #Tanzania
"My concern is the greatest along the Atlantic coast of #Africa" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend "This is the most significant threat from #China - to gain a military useful naval facility on the Atlantic coast..."
"...I mean something more than a place where they can make port calls & get gas & groceries" per @USAfricaCommand's Gen Townsend re #China in #Africa
"I'm talking about a port where they can rearm w/munitions & repair naval vessels"

"They're working aggressively to get that"
#Afghanistan withdrawal: "We're prepared if the #taliban want to take shots at us" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "The plan that we designed to come out with or without pressure from the Taliban. And yes, we will bring additional resources in to protect the force"
"We will have additional capabilities and I'm confident that we and our coalition partners will be able to extract ourselves" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie
Missile attack vs #Israel "reflects incompetence in #Syria|n air defense, where they were responding to Israeli strikes on targets in Syrian" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "I do not believe it was an intentional attack but just rather lack of capability"
#Afghanistan-"Right now, a rough stasis exists between the #Taliban & the gvt of Afghanistan forces" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "The Taliban have access to offshore havens where they're able to reconstitute, where the gvt of Afghanistan can't reach..."
"The #Taliban has 50,000 or so members today" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie, who admits Taliban controls more of #Afghanistan now than it did ten years ago
Previous estimates have put the number of #Taliban fighters much higher - @SenWarren said @SIGARHQ put the # at 85,000

UN estimates from a year ago put it at 55,000-85,000, but closer to 100,000 if you include non-combatants
"I strongly support President Biden's decision to withdraw US troops" @SenWarren tells @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie "We should have learned by now that a conditions-based withdrawal is just a recipe for staying in #Afghanistan forever..."
"Defense officials have come before this committee year after year to proclaim that the US has 'turned the corner' in #Afghanistan, but all I see is a vicious cycle" per @SenWarren
#Afghanistan security forces-"If we don't provide them some support, they certainly will collapse & I think that's not in our best interest" per @CENTCOM's Gen McKenzie

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More from @jseldin

22 Apr
Happening now: @CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie briefs Pentagon reports on #Afghanistan withdrawal

"I would advise the #Taliban we will be prepared to defend ourselves" he says
"We do plan to continue support to the Afghan will just be more difficult" per @CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie

"We intend to continue to support them" he adds "It will be a tough fight for the Afghans"
"It is our intention to bring the contractors out, the US contractors will come out" per @CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie, saying planner looking at other options to support Afghan air force

"We may be able to work some remote, televised way to do that"
Read 17 tweets
22 Apr
US offers help to #Indonesia in search for lost submarine

"Indonesia is a strong friend & strategic partner" per @DeptofDefense spokesperson John Supple "We have reached out to our Indonesian counterparts & asked them how we can be of assistance.”
More: "We were deeply saddened to see the reports about their lost submarine" per Supple "Our thoughts are with the Indonesian sailors and their families"
UPDATE: US sending help to #Indonesia in search for lost submarine

"At the invitation of the Indonesian government, we are sending airborne assets to assist in the search for the missing submarine" per @PentagonPresSec
Read 5 tweets
21 Apr
Pentagon Seeks Carrier Deployment as It Exits Afghanistan, in Sign It’s Readying for a Fight…
.@PentagonPresSec on @nytimes report @CENTCOM wants an aircraft carrier for #Afghanistan withdrawal

@SecDef "has made clear that we will execute the drawdown in Afghanistan in a safe, orderly & deliberate manner & that we will do everything possible to protect our troops..."
More: "We do not speak about his private communication with combatant commanders or force posture decisions under consideration" per @PentagonPresSec "For operational security reasons, we will also not preview specific force protection measures being planned”
Read 4 tweets
20 Apr
Happening now: @CENTCOM Commander Gen Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, @USAfricaCommand Commander Gen Stephen Townsend & @DeptofDefense Acting UnderSec Amanda Dory testify at the House Armed Services Committee
"In #Afghanistan, our mission has been preventing terrorist groups from using the country to threaten the interests & security of the UnitedStates, our allies & partners" acting Deputy UnderSec Dory tells lawmakers "After 2 decades...we have accomplished that mission"
"We are focused on working closely w/the Afghan gvt & our @NATO allies to responsibly conclude Operation resolute Support in #Afghanistan" per @CENTCOM Commander Gen McKenzie "This is my main effort, at present"
Read 53 tweets
20 Apr
US reaction to reported death of #Chad President Idriss Deby

"We would like to express our condolences to the people of Chad for their loss" per @USAfricaCommand spox Col. Chris Karns "The United States is closely monitoring the rebel incursion in Chad..."
"#Chad plays a vital role in efforts to counter regional transnational threats" per @USAfricaCommand's Col Karns "Chad's ability to contribute to regional security initiatives helps reduce instability in the region"
"We continue to remain encouraged by #Chad|ian participation in regional counter violent extremist
organization efforts such as the Multinational Joint Task Force, G5 #Sahel Joint Force & the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in #Mali" per Col Karns
Read 9 tweets
20 Apr
"Every operational plan in the department and every other capability we possess rests on an assumption that strategic deterrence and in particular nuclear deterrence is holding" per @US_Stratcom's Adm Richard "If that fails, nothing else in the Dep. of Defense works as planned"
US "facing two nuclear capable strategic peer adversaries at the same time, both of whom have to be deterred differently" per @US_Stratcom's Adm Richard "#Chinese & #Russia|n advances are eroding our conventional and strategic deterrence"
"#China in particular, I submit, cannot be considered anymore a lesser included case in this context" per @US_Stratcom's Adm Richard

"In the very near term, China will possess a credible nuclear triad..."
Read 4 tweets

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