Condoleezza Rice Believes that American Troops Should Have Remained in Afghanistan for Longer than Two Decades

While the Biden administration’s pullout from Afghanistan has been quite rocky, it’s undeniable that the US should withdraw from the Central Asian country. 

However, there are many in the national security establishment who believe that the US should maintain an indefinite presence in Afghanistan. Former national security adviser Condoleezza Rice has been one of the most vocal proponents of keeping troops stationed in Afghanistan. Rice was the Bush administration’s national security adviser from 2001 to 2005 and the Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009. 

She penned an op-ed at the Washington Post on August 17, 2021 titled “Condoleezza Rice: The Afghan people didn’t choose the Taliban. They fought and died alongside us” where she made the case for continuing to have a military presence in Afghanistan. She asserted that “a core American presence for training, air support and intelligence” should have stayed in Afghanistan to serve “our strategic interests.”.

Rice added:

Trending: Ron DeSantis’ Law Banning Criticism of Israel Has Huge First Amendment Implications

Twenty years was not enough to complete a journey from the 7th-century rule of the Taliban and a 30-year civil war to a stable government. Twenty years may also not have been enough to consolidate our gains against terrorism and assure our own safety. We — and they — needed more time.

No — [Afghans] didn’t choose the Taliban. They fought and died alongside us, helping us degrade al-Qaeda. Working with the Afghans and our allies, we gained time to build a counterterrorism presence around the world and a counterterrorism apparatus at home that has kept us safe. In the end, the Afghans couldn’t hold the country without our airpower and our support. It is not surprising that Afghan security forces lost the will to fight, when the Taliban warned that the United States was deserting them and that those who resisted would see their families killed. 

As a seasoned neoconservative, Rice also called on the Biden administration to open up the immigration floodgates to Afghan refugees. Invade the world, invite the word is these political hacks’ north star. John Binder of Breitbart News observed this:

Rice also urges President Joe Biden to “urgently” resettle countless Afghans in the U.S. Bush, in a similar statement, called on the Biden administration to “cut the red tape for refugees” so that Afghans can be fast-tracked into the U.S.

Natural security apparatchiks like Rice will be just fine in their cushy positions following the disasters they unleashed on Afghanistan and Iraq. However, American troops and Afghan civilians were not so lucky. For a start, this conflict has cost the US over $2 trillion and the lives of 2,300 troops.

Civilian casualties have been tragic as well, with rough estimates of 71,000 civilians being killed in this conflict. 

The funny thing is that Rice used to hold realist views in previous decades, where she called for restraint in the cases of interventions in Haiti and Bosnia during the 1990s. However, the neoconservative persuasion is very strong in Washington DC and it’s capable of infecting once reasonable national security figures like Rice. 

The US truly needs a competing national security faction to challenge the neoconservative and neoliberal dogma of the present. The US will be in a perpetual state of conflict if it doesn’t fix this.