Condoleezza Rice, who served as a national security advisor and then secretary of state during the Bush years, detailed Sunday why she believes our involvement in Afghanistan was necessary in maintaining peace at home and why it was the wrong time to withdraw.
The commentary was preceded by Rice rebuking so-called “endless war” rhetoric about Afghanistan, namely from President Joe Biden.
To combat such rhetoric, Rice said she would have made an argument about taking the war to our enemies, instead of having them bring the conflict to our land, as well as underscoring how it was in our national security interest to stay in Afghanistan, though a happy byproduct was helping the Afghan people.
The former secretary of state noted that she wished this argument was communicated better and more “forcefully” from the Bush administration.
“Here’s the argument I would have hoped we would have said,” Rice told Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro on “The Ben Shapiro Show: Sunday Special.” “We are a country that benefited for a couple of centuries by our great oceans protecting us and peaceful neighbors to the north and the south. We found out on September 11th that we weren’t protected. We decided we were going to take the war to them, so we didn’t have to fight it on our soil.”
“That means that we need to forward deploy our forces to fight them out there, so we don’t have to fight them in here. That means that we may have to deploy small numbers, contingents of American forces, intelligence assets, and military hardware forward in places like Afghanistan, where we can, with allies from around the world, as well as with Afghan allies, continue to prosecute the war on terror, so we don’t have to prosecute it at home.”
“I wish somebody had made that argument,” Rice said. “Maybe we should take responsibility, Ben, those of us in the Bush administration, for not making that argument forcefully enough.”
The former diplomat noted that the Bush administration was “pleased with the good we were doing for the Afghan people,” but emphasized that “they did a lot of good for us, too,” referring to our efforts on their territory that she argues kept the U.S. safe for some 20 years.
“I would also have said, we’ve done this forward deployment before,” she continued. “Our longest war is actually Korea; it is an armistice, not a victory in war. We have 28,000 American forces on the Korean peninsula.”
“I would have made the strategic argument — I wish we’d made it better,” Rice told Shapiro.
During the same interview, Rice knocked President Biden for basic flaws in his botched and fatal withdrawal from Afghanistan, namely the timing — which was telegraphed, the decision to drop Bagram airbase, and the lack of communication with our allies.
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