Former Secretary of State Weighs in on Afghanistan Withdrawal

Former Secretary of State Weighs in on Afghanistan Withdrawal

( – The United States kicked off its War on Terror with the invasion of Afghanistan shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Afghanistan is home to America’s longest-running war and impacted four US presidents: George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden. Trump negotiated the final withdrawal of US troops towards the end of his administration, and Biden set a symbolic deadline of September 11 to complete that task. However, things collapsed over the weekend on August 15, with the Taliban seizure of the presidential palace in Kabul.

Biden spent the weekend vacationing at Camp David but returned to the White House to address the nation about the mounting crisis. However, he offered little in the way of assurances, preferring to pass the blame onto others like the Trump administration.

Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s national security adviser from 2001 to 2005 and Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009, wrote a scathing opinion piece in The Washington Post offering up her analysis of the current situation in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan According to Condoleeza Rice

Rice began her piece by explaining things needn’t have played out as they did in Afghanistan. “The images of Afghans hanging from American transport planes… are heartbreaking,” she explained.

Noting the past few years have been difficult, Rice readily conceded all four presidents and others in authority shared some blame for the current state of affairs. However, the United States couldn’t have afforded to turn its back and walk away from the “rogue state that harbored” the individuals “who attacked us on 9/11.”

According to Rice, the time has arrived to assess America’s failures and successes in Afghanistan.

Rice Takes on Biden

Rice began her analysis by discussing Biden’s Monday address to the nation. According to him, Americans gave the Afghan people every opportunity to “determine their own future.” However, as Rice explained, that idea is patently false.

The Afghan people didn’t choose the Taliban. Instead, they “fought and died” alongside American soldiers, helping them wage battle against al-Qaeda. Their efforts bought the US enough time to construct effective counterterrorism programs at home and abroad.

Continuing, Rice also warned of the strategic challenges awaiting America in light of Biden’s failures in Afghanistan. For instance, China and Russia are both measuring the Biden administration and, by extension, the United States in the wake of his abandonment of the Afghan people. Both nations hope to expand their global dominance and could take advantage of any perceived American weakness.

Visions of Saigon

Rice concluded her analysis by reminding readers of the April 1975 fall of Saigon, which marked the end of US involvement in the Vietnam Conflict. Unfortunately, the United States failed to evacuate all the South Vietnamese who helped US troops at great personal risk to themselves.

Thousands did make it out, thanks to US officials. Those individuals, along with their children and grandchildren, have become part of the American dream, contributing as educators, government officials, business owners, and yes — as soldiers.

If the Biden administration doesn’t do anything else, it needs to provide refuge for the Afghan people who believed in us and let history decide whether or not it was a mistake not to stay there longer.

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