North on U.S. Forces Potentially Pulling Out of Afghanistan

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 15, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right. So, when the president announced back in December that he was sending an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, many conservatives breathed a sigh of relief that he would not desert our mission there, but since that time, he has repeatedly vowed to pull out of the country by the middle of next year. So, he did so earlier again today in an interview with the Australian broadcasting network.

He added, "We can't be there in perpetuity." So, with the change to our nuclear strategy and now a clear declaration of an end game in Afghanistan, are we jeopardizing our national security? Joining me now with analysis is Lt. Col. Oliver North. You just returned from Afghanistan. You were there a long time. How long you were there?


HANNITY: And you were there...

NORTH: It's good to see you when I'm not wearing a flak jacket and helmet.

HANNITY: It is good. Welcome back safe home.

NORTH: Thank you. Good to see you, too.

HANNITY: You were there, how many times have you been to Iraq and Afghanistan?

NORTH: I think that was my 21st trip to both theaters and some other places like the Philippines.

HANNITY: What's the difference this time?

NORTH: What you just said is important because he waited until December. Remember, Stanley McChrystal asked for those troops in July. And what he did is he delayed so long that our effort to stop this Narco-insurgency because that's what the Taliban is. The Narco-insurgency just like what's going on in Mexico. He waited so long to send them that now it's difficult to deal with this poppy harvest, the opium.

That's how they fund the corruption of people like provincial governors, some related to the head of state over there. It's how they fund the IED manufacturing operations. And now, what he's doing is basically reaffirming that we're going to pull out and basically leave the Afghan National Security Forces in the lurch.

HANNITY: What does it mean when you put a deadline, a timeline on an exit strategy as the president just did in this interview?

NORTH: We're in unexplored territory here. There has never been a commander-in-chief ever announced that he's sending troops off to war and announced the deadline in which they're withdrawing. This is the first time that's ever happened. He did that in the West Point speech. We're now trying to experiment. What does that mean to our allies?

We have 43 other nations over there with us. You have the Afghan National Security Forces, some of which are very, very good. I put them on my flank at any time and I've been out there in the field with them. Some of them are very, very bad. And there isn't time to train these forces if you start looking at it. What we're going to do is start pulling out. You will not be able to adequately train them to deal with the anarchy that could well ensue that brought the Taliban to power the last time. And it's inconceivable to me...

HANNITY: Let me give you some recent headlines. The president said earlier this week, whether we like it or not, we will remain the dominant military. He admits the sanctions in Iran are likely to fail, but then on the other hand, he says that al Qaeda terrorist group, Iran is a terror state, but al Qaeda is pursuing nukes and would use them if they get them at the same time we're cutting back and making a bad deal with Putin, cutting back on our own nuclear arsenal.

NORTH: And not only cutting back on our nuclear arsenal, but we're also refusing to test new weapons in the long term. What you've got in the stockpile is less relevant than what you've got under development. I mean, this is, after all, very, very scientific stuff. You don't just snap your fingers and create a new cast of nuclear weapons and means of delivering them. And what we've decided to do, again, unilaterally, we're going to stop testing.

We're not going to test any new nuclear weapons. And this man, as commander-in-chief, has effectively said we're not going to take further advancements with space, not just intelligence and surveillance and reconnaissance, but we're also not going to be able to put weapons out.

HANNITY: They're also a historian. Let's stand back — we often as the classic example. Churchill and Chamberlain, peace in our time. We talked about Jimmy Carter vs. Ronald Reagan, peace through strength, trust but verify and the appeasement policies of Carter. Through the prism of that history, where does Barack Obama stand?

NORTH: One of the misstatements he made this week, and he was reaffirmed by his Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton as both of them are saying, we're going to be the dominant military force as we've always been.

I hate to tell them this. In 1941, we were not the dominant military force. In fact, it took us two years to gird up to fight World War II. First offensive operations in World War II after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor didn't begin until August of 1942. And we lost every battle leading up to that. We can't afford to lose the battles today.

HANNITY: What do you think of Senator McCain? He says that the U.S. keeps pointing a loaded gun at Iran but failing to pull the trigger. Robert Gates said this week that he thinks they could have a nuclear weapon within a year. What does that mean?

NORTH: First of all, it's entirely likely that they're going to have a nuclear weapon within a year. I also believe it's entirely likely that you're going to end up with some kind of armed confrontation. It may not be Americans into it. It may well be the Israelis. We will, however, be blamed. And what's really important is, we could have stopped this. We could have...


NORTH: Very simply. Any company that does any kind of business with Iranian revolutionary or — excuse me the Islamic revolutionary Guard Corps or anyone of the leadership over there that company cannot do business in America. That's how we stop the part...

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Last week, the administration said Islamic radicalism does not exist.

NORTH: Guess what, it does.

HANNITY: We don't have a war on terror.

NORTH: In manmade disaster...

HANNITY: Overseas contingency operation.


HANNITY: All right. Three quarters of the United States senators signed letters rebuking the president and his treatment of Benjamin Netanyahu and our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel. What is happening there? Are we emboldening the enemies of the U.S. and Israel? I mean, this is a harsh indictment. Do you think Barack Obama is emboldening America's enemies? Do you think he's showing weakness?

NORTH: Certainly. And he's done that consistently. I mean, one of the very few things that has not changed in this administration is this president's willingness to be obsequious to our adversaries, to denigrate our allies, and essentially, to walk away from the only real democracy in that part of the world. And, you know, no one can say it's because he's big on oil, because he's not in the oil business. So, what is it? It's his core philosophy of being anti-American.

HANNITY: I want to show this video real quick before you go. First of all, tell us, of course, this is a little child being rescued by our brave servicemen and women, tell us...

NORTH: Remarkable. A child was brought into a Special Forces camp. Carried aboard the helicopter. This is an armed rescue operation, 41st expeditionary rescue squadron. Those are PJs in the back of it. Take the kid to a hospital in Kandahar.

HANNITY: With his father.

NORTH: With his dad who is terrified of this whole experience. The dad is absolutely scared to death. Dad might have seen a helicopter before. Ad one of the PJ's said he might have even shot at one before. He's never ridden in one, 150 miles an hour and about 30 feet off the deck, terrified. The kid's life is saved. That dad will never shoot at a helicopter again.

HANNITY: All right. Colonel, welcome home. Safe home. Appreciate you being with us.

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