Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is known for her ability to lose presidential elections, said that President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan will have “huge consequences.”
“Well, it’s been made. And I know it is a very difficult decision,” Clinton told CNN on Sunday. “This is what we call a wicked problem. You know there are consequences both foreseen and unintended of staying and of leaving. The president has made the decision to leave.”
“I think these two huge sets of issues have got to be addressed,” she said. “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.”
Clinton said that the Taliban would gain strength again to fill the power vacuum created by the United States’ absence, and the instability would result in a “huge refugee outflow.”
“The potential collapse of the Afghan government and a takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban probably with a resumption of civil war in certain parts of the country,” she said. “But a largely, Taliban-run government at some point in the not-too-distant future.”
Despite the Biden administration being overwhelmed with record levels of illegal immigration that the president seems unable to handle, Clinton said the administration needs to be willing to accept refugees from Afghanistan after U.S. withdrawal.
“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,” Clinton said.
As Retired Army General Jack Keane told Fox News, the development of ISIS into a regional power was largely a result of the Obama administration’s decision to “prematurely” withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.
“I’m surprised somewhat that [Biden’s] withdrawing with no conditions whatsoever,” Keane told Fox News, adding that former President Trump set an exit date if outlined conditions were met.
“Why aren’t we putting that into play negotiations with his conditions for a withdrawal to give our negotiators some leverage with the Taliban? We have walked away from that opportunity,” Keane said. “Second thing here is, we are forgetting lessons learned. We ended the war in Iraq prematurely and we got ISIS. It was an absolute disaster on our part.”
If the Biden administration withdraws troops irresponsibly, the fear of a resurgence in terrorist groups like the Taliban has some worried that his decision could encourage future U.S. intervention, delaying an actual end to the “endless” war. According to Axios, “Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee they’re worried about President Biden’s plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, with Rice suggesting the U.S. may need to go back.”