KELLY FILE

Complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan a big mistake?

A message from Gold Star Wife Jane Horton

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," February 27, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, GUEST HOST: This week, the U.S. announced it is considering withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year. My next guest feels like that would be a big mistake, not only endangering our national security, but to her, it is appalling because she knows all too well the sacrifices of military families have made in the last war.

In September of 2011, she lost her husband, Specialist Christopher Horton, in a Taliban attack during his first deployment in Afghanistan. He was just 26 years old. Jane Horton joins us now. And, Jane, I want to start by saying there is no way we can understand or repay the death that you and your family and your loved ones and his loved ones have paid, so we thank you for your service, and for yours now as well.

JANE HORTON, HUSBAND KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN: Thank you very much, Shannon.

BREAM: All right. You used to speak from personal experience. You sacrificed your most precious thing in life to this Afghan war. What are your concerns now about the announcement now that is appears we're leaving?

HORTON: It seems like this plan that's in place by the president to withdraw the troops at the end the year instead of leaving a force to make sure that all the gains that we made in Afghanistan and all the investments that the American people have made in the country continue -- it seems that there is a problem with that and there needs to be a plan in place, so that when we leave none of these sacrifices, all the service members that were wounded, that were killed, that deployed, that all of their sacrifices are not in vain.

BREAM: What was your reaction when you heard, because there's been so much negotiations of course. The U.S. is having a hard time with President Karzai who will soon be replaced with new elections. They have been trying to negotiate a drawdown, get an agreement signed. That hasn't happened. What was your thought when you heard that now will appears we're gonna make the move?

HORTON: I was honestly pretty heartbroken. I was pretty upset. So many people have sacrificed over there, giving their lives, and so many families have been broken, so, many deployment in the past 12-plus years. And the American people I understand they are very sick of these wars and want them to end, but we have to be responsible Americans, be responsible people and we have to finish the wars instead of just ending them.

BREAM: How are you doing now, and those who love your husband, his family as well?

HORTON: You know we're doing OK. Each day we have a duty to make sure that we give everything for this country because our loved ones, and my husband gave everything to sacrifice for this country as well. So, it's very important for me to make sure that we do everything to preserve the freedoms that he gave everything for.

BREAM: And what would be your message tonight to the president about what he is considering?

HORTON: I think we learned a very, very important lesson in Iraq. You can't just pull out of a war without leaving troops behind to make sure that all the gains we made are still in place and that they continue to make sure that the Afghans -- Afghanistan is a safe country. We went over to Afghanistan because there is terror in this world and Al Qaeda threatened America. We need to make sure that we continue to provide Afghanistan with stability, that the fragile Afghanistan forces continue to have our support so that they can continue to secure the country on their home front in Afghanistan.

BREAM: Jane, again, we thank you for all that you have shared with this country, thank you.

HORTON: Thank you.

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