Condoleezza Rice: U.S. Should Have Stayed in Afghanistan Longer than 20 Years

Former Secretary of State and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice says the United States should have stayed in Afghanistan longer than 20 years after former President George W. Bush ordered its invasion by U.S. Armed Forces.

Rice, who served as Bush’s national security adviser from 2001 to 2005 and Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009, writes in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday that “a core American presence for training, air support and intelligence” should have remained in Afghanistan to serve “our strategic interests.”

Rice writes:

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. [Emphasis added]

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. [Emphasis added]

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. – READ MORE