In April, President Joe Biden confirmed he would be withdrawing American combat troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021 (via White House). As The New York Times reported, the controversial move will end the longest war in American history. Biden is also overruling warnings from his top military aides who are concerned that by removing U.S. troops, there could be a resurgence of the kind of terrorist activity that first prompted their insertion in the first place. Over the past two decades, “hundreds of thousands of troops [were sent] into combat,” per the publication.
Biden has been fighting his position on this particular issue for a long time, and he’s going against the Pentagon in pushing the move through, too. The argument for keeping American troops in Afghanistan revolves around ensuring forces are mobilized against the Taliban, who still hold a frightening amount of power in the area. The deadline for removal is, notably, set to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that changed the world forever. Although the move is being heralded by many, one notable person has some concerns: Hillary Clinton.
Clinton is concerned about the repercussions
Speaking to CNN, Hillary Clinton criticized President Biden’s decision to pull American troops out of Afghanistan, warning of “two huge consequences” to doing so. Clinton acknowledged “it’s a very difficult decision” but admitted to being concerned about “the potential collapse of the Afghan government and a takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.” In particular, she suggested there may be significant civil unrest, and even a resurgence of war, in certain areas. Clinton pointed out the importance of protecting the many local people who worked with the U.S. and NATO for “women’s rights and human rights” over the years, suggesting a visa program could be set up, so these people could relocate to the States.
She added, “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 former Secretary of State made it clear that, although this is a U.S. decision, its impact will be keenly felt throughout the region once military support is no longer there.
As Fox News confirmed, American troops first moved into Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. Biden acknowledged, while announcing the withdrawal, that their objective was accomplished more than 10 years ago, when Osama bin Laden was captured and dispatched. Biden noted al-Qaeda’s presence has been “greatly degraded” and the U.S. embassy is still present in the region, ensuring its continuing safety (via White House).
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