'Two Huge Consequences': Hillary Clinton Leery About Biden's Afghanistan Withdrawal

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Posted: May 03, 2021 1:35 PM
'Two Huge Consequences': Hillary Clinton Leery About Biden's Afghanistan Withdrawal

Source: Democratic National Convention via AP

Joining host Fareed Zakaria on CNN Sunday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sounded less than confident in President Biden's ability to manage the consequences of withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. 

While President Trump was able to beat terrorists and keep the U.S. out of new wars despite his critics' giddy predictions of World War III, Biden's track record is one that apparently worries even Hillary Clinton. 

Pointing to "two huge consequences" of the Biden Administration's decision, Clinton warned of "the potential collapse of the Afghan government and a takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban—probably with a resumption of a civil war in certain parts of the country—but a largely Taliban-run government at some point in the not too distant future." 

Clinton inadvertently highlighted the Biden administration's rush to action without a clear plan as to what he'll do in the wake of his decision:

"How do we help and protect the many many thousands of Afghans who worked with the United States and NATO, who worked with American and other NATO-connected contractors, who stood up and stood out for women's rights and human rights. I hope that the administration, in concert with the Congress, will have a very large visa program and will begin immediately to try to provide that channel for so many Afghans to utilize so that they are not left in danger. There will also be, I fear, a huge refugee outflow."

Biden's track record in government is less than stellar when it comes to protecting those abroad who helped the United States. As Katie pointed out, the Obama Administration "abandoned the doctor who pointed U.S. intelligence to the bin Laden compound. He's still in a Pakistani prison after working with the CIA" while Biden was vice president.

Now that he's in the top spot at the White House, Biden is also apparently hoping people don't remember he advocated against the raid that killed bin Laden—the same mission he tried to claim credit for in his joint address to Congress last week.

Hillary Clinton, while not known for her success on the world stage (how'd that little Russia reset button work out?), also warned that Biden's decision to leave Afghanistan could lead to another resurgence in terrorist activity that was seen as the Islamic State established a caliphate during the Obama-Biden Administration.

"We've seen a really sharp drop in both capacity and action on behalf of Islamic terrorist groups," Clinton noted without giving due credit to the Trump Administration for its success decimating terrorist organizations and their leaders. 

Stating the fairly obvious, Clinton continued:

"I don't think though we can count on that staying in a downward spiral if the Taliban continue to provide refuge to international terrorist groups. Sadly, ever since George W. Bush asked them all the way up to the efforts at negotiation in the last months of the Trump administration, the Taliban has never been willing to separate itself from al-Qaida.

We know that the current head of al-Qaida, who had been bin Laden's deputy al-Zawahri is still somewhere in Afghanistan and Pakistan biding his time. And so these two huge sets of issues have got to be addressed. I mean, it's one thing to pull out troops that have been supporting security in Afghanistan, supporting the Afghan military, leaving it pretty much to fend for itself. But we can't afford to walk away from the consequences of that decision."

When President Biden announced the withdrawal target date in mid-April, President Trump responded with a statement saying "I made early withdrawal possible by already pulling much of our billions of dollars of equipment out and, more importantly, reducing our military presence to less than 2,000 troops from the 16,000 level that was there... Getting out of Afghanistan is a wonderful and positive thing to do. I planned to withdraw on May 1st, and we should keep as close to that schedule as possible."

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