During a CNN appearance on Sunday, Clinton was asked about Biden’s decision. Calling it a “difficult” decision, Clinton said there are “consequences” that are “both foreseen and unintended of staying and of leaving.”
“Our government has to focus on two huge consequences,” Clinton continued, noting the first is “the potential collapse of the Afghan government and a takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.”
She added, “Probably with a resumption of civil war in certain parts of the country, but a largely Taliban-run government at some point in the not-too-distant future.”
The former secretary of state noted that it is important to figure out how to “help and protect” the “many thousands of Afghans who worked with the U.S. and NATO … who stood up and spoke out for women’s rights and human rights.”
Clinton also added, “There will also be, I fear, a huge refugee outflow,” adding, “And of course, the second big set of problems revolves around a resumption of activities by global terrorist groups, most particularly Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.”
“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.”
The U.S. has started the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, CNN reported.
He added, “The September timeframe is a ‘no later than’ time. It’s not a ‘no earlier than’ time. We will conduct operations that are coordinated, synchronized, protect the force, and we’re going to do it in a responsible way. We’ll do that as fast as we can, but we want to do it as fast as it’s responsible, coordinated, synchronized with our allies from NATO.”
Milley also warned that there could be “bad possible outcomes” for Afghanistan as U.S. troops are withdrawn.