Hillary Clinton warns of consequences to pulling troops from Afghanistan
Driving the news: Axios reported Friday that Clinton and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed concern to the House Foreign Affairs Committee over the move. When CNN's Fareed Zakaria asked Clinton what she thought of the decision, she said: "Well, it's been made, and I know it is a very difficult decision."
What else she's saying: The first major consequence was "the potential collapse of the Afghan government and a takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban," Clinton said.
- "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," she added.
- Clinton said it's important to 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." She expressed hopes a visa program could be set up for them in the U.S.
"There will also be, I fear, a huge refugee outflow," she said. "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."
The bottom line: "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.
- The Biden administration did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.