Former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice have reportedly expressed concerns about President Joe Biden’s planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Clinton, who served as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama and Rice, who held the office under President George W. Bush, weighed in on the scheduled withdrawal during a Zoom call with House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
[A] member of the committee confirmed both Clinton and Rice raised concerns about the potential fallout from a quick removal of all U.S. troops. Both also expressed concerns about protecting U.S. diplomats on the ground following the withdrawal and what the move will mean for the global war on terrorism. […] Both Rice and Clinton supported military intervention in the Middle East following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“We had Secretaries Clinton and Condi Rice Zoom today with the committee,” an unnamed source told Axios. “A little disagreement on Afghanistan, but they both agreed we’re going to need to sustain a counterterrorism mission somehow outside of that country.”
“Condi Rice is like, ‘You know, we’re probably gonna have to go back,'” if the country is plagued by an increased level of terrorism, the source told the news outlet.
Biden announced April 14 that he will withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, extending the May 2021 deadline former President Donald Trump set to pull out the roughly 2,500 troops from the war-torn country.
Biden formally spoke on the decision one day after media outlets reported on his plans, saying “it is time to end America’s longest war.”
“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result,” he said in remarks from the White House Treaty Room.
“I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”
The UPI contributed to this report.