Condoleezza Rice: I don’t believe it was time to withdraw from Afghanistan

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. (AP Photo, file)

File – Then- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pictured. (AP Photo)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:40 AM PT – Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Veterans of the U.S. National Security apparatus have warned the Biden administration withdrew from Afghanistan too early and too chaotically. During a recent interview, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State to former President George W. Bush, analyzed the flaws leading up to the Afghanistan crisis.

Rice stressed pulling out in the heat of summer was a poor decision while claiming it took place towards the Taliban’s “fighting season.” She added, a more effective pullout could have taken place during the winter months when the Taliban and other terrorist organizations retreat to the mountains of Pakistan.

Rice also took aim at Joe Biden for ordering troops to leave before civilians while arguing the move hindered U.S. capability of evacuating Americans and allies effectively.

“I think it would have been wise to hang on to Bagram, maybe even some of our other several airfields that we had there. So that transport of people out could have been slower, more orderly, could have taken place from more secure locations.”

The former top U.S. diplomat then urged Americans not to dismiss the original goals of the war in Afghanistan. She pointed out the deployment of troops to the country were a response to Al-Qaeda’s attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001.

Rice went on to claim the Bush administration’s main goal was to deter and prevent another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. She touted the U.S. military did well in orchestrating efforts to achieve this end.

However, in response to criticisms over Bush’s desire to “nation build,” Rice claimed Bush aimed to create a strong and stable government in Afghanistan that could work with the U.S. to eradicate terrorism.

“What people don’t understand about so-called nation building is that if you are going to prevent a place from returning to terrorism once you’ve killed the first wave of terrorist, it has to be something of a somewhat stable government,” she explained. “You have to try and create circumstances under which you can work with partners as we’ve been doing for 20-years.”

Rice reiterated her position that now is not the time to retreat from Afghanistan as she believes a U.S. presence in the country greatly benefited the Afghan people and the strategic interests of America.

“An Afghanistan in which we were present, I think, was good for the Afghan people,” she stated. “It did do good things for woman, it did do good things for the Afghan people having suffered under the horrors of the Taliban.”

Rice’s comments come as hundreds of Americans and allies are stuck in Afghanistan as they wait for the State Department to help get them get out of the country, which is now being run by the Taliban.

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