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    The recent terrorist attack in Bagram, Afghanistan that killed six Americans underlines the urgent need to maintain US troops in that country and should not be seen as a reason to exit, experts told Sputnik.

    Bagram Attack Underscores Need for US Military Presence in Afghanistan

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    The recent terrorist attack in Bagram, Afghanistan that killed six Americans underlines the urgent need to maintain US troops in that country and should not be seen as a reason to exit, experts told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Six US servicemen were killed in Afghanistan last week in a suicide attack near the US Armed Forces Bagram Air Base, intensifying demands among critics for a complete US military drawdown.

    University of Nebraska at Omaha Director of Afghan Studies Thomas Gouttierre told Sputnik that the terrorist incidents in Paris, San Bernardino and Bagram are all part of an international holy war that will require a long-term US commitment in places like Afghanistan.

    "This is a global war. All of these events are in one way or another interrelated… with the elements that are subscribing to what I call the al-Qaeda narrative. Al-Qaeda itself, or the Taliban or ISIS [Daesh]," Gouttierre said when asked if the US military should exit Afghanistan. "It is going to take a long time and we need to understand that."

    The Bagram attack represents the type of combat the US government and public will have to get used to and learn to stomach in this global war, Gouttierre explained, because the fight against jihadists will not consist of major battles like Waterloo.

    US military strategies in Afghanistan at times seem archaic and ill-suited to handle the terrorist threat, Gouttierre observed.

    "We tend to want to set up big bases, no matter where we go, as we have in Afghanistan," he said. "It was a mistake. Our footprint became too large there and our effectiveness declined in the process."

    Gouttierre suggested the US military should instead reevaluate strategies in the wake of the Bagram attack and enhance intelligence and quick-strike capabilities.

    Brookings Institution scholar Michael O'Hanlon told Sputnik that it would be irrational for the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan in light of the Bagram attack because leaving will only boost the insurgency.

    "I don’t see logic in the argument to leave, unless you are looking to give the Taliban a nice New Year’s present," O’Hanlon quipped.

    Afghanistan remains in political and social turmoil as the Taliban and other extremist organizations such as the Islamic State — also known as Daesh and outlawed in Russia — take advantage of instability in the country.

    Related:

    Forever War: After 14 Years of US Combat in Afghanistan, Taliban Advances
    US, UK Deploy Forces in Afghanistan After 14 Year Failure to Defeat Taliban
    Pentagon Confirms Death of Six US Troops in Afghanistan
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