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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks onstage in New York City in 2020. Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Hulu

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN Sunday the U.S. has to focus on "two huge consequences" following President Biden's decision to withdraw American 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.

Go deeper: Biden administration's hard exit from Afghanistan

Go deeper

U.S. envoy warns Taliban of global cutoff if Afghanistan taken by force

Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. special representative on Afghanistan reconciliation, in Washington, D.C., in May. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States' special representative on Afghanistan reconciliation, warned the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday that any government formed by force will not be recognized internationally, according to AP.

Why it matters: Nine out of 34 Afghan provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban in recent days as the U.S. military withdraws, raising fears that the Afghan military will be unable to hold off the insurgent group.

Aug 10, 2021 - World

Six Afghan provincial capitals fall to Taliban in four days

Afghan special forces patrol Herat. Photo: Aref Karimi/AFPTV/AFP via Getty

Six Afghan provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban since Friday, Reuters notes, with the militants taking the town of Aybak on Monday and targeting northern Afghanistan's largest city, Mazar-i-Sharif.

Why it matters: The string of swift Taliban successes in the final weeks of the U.S. withdrawal has dented hopes that the Afghan military and allied militias will be able to fend off the insurgency.

Aug 10, 2021 - World

U.S. sends Afghanistan envoy to Qatar to press Taliban to end offensive

Zalmay Khalilzad , special representative on Afghanistan reconciliation, during a May congressional hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad will "press the Taliban to stop their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement" during talks in Qatar's capital, Doha, this week, the State Department said.

Why it matters: As the Biden administration prepares to fully withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan on Aug. 31, the Taliban has seized six provincial capitals in the country. The Pentagon said Monday it's up to the Afghan government to defend these cities.