Speaking to Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro on “The Ben Shapiro Show: Sunday Special,” Condoleezza Rice, who served as a national security advisor and then secretary of state during the Bush years, criticized the Biden administration’s botched and fatal withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Rice, who said she disagreed with the decision to pull out troops from the region, slammed President Joe Biden for basic flaws in the withdrawal.
“I think the real issue here is that, even if one believed that it was time to withdraw — which I actually don’t believe it was time to withdraw — but if one believed that it was time to withdraw, this could have been done in a more orderly fashion,” Rice told Shapiro. “For instance, we know that the Taliban don’t fight in the winter; there is a fighting season in Afghanistan. It would have been perfectly logical to wait until they had gone back into the mountains of Pakistan.”
“I think it would have been wise to hang on to Bagram [airbase] — maybe even some of our other seven airfields that we had there, so that transport of people out could have been slower, more orderly, could have taken place from more secure locations,” she continued.
“I’ve been to Hamid Karzai International Airport,” Rice noted, “it’s not a place that you would want to try and secure. … I think that there were ways to do this in a fashion that wouldn’t have seen the precipitous fall of Kabul, and where we wouldn’t have had the kind of chaos that we had at the airport.”
Later in the interview, while speaking of Obama-era surges she described as “half-hearted,” Rice criticized leaders telegraphing to the enemy their time of exit.
“The other thing is, I’ve never understood this idea that you telegraph to your enemy, we’re only staying for this long and then we’re going to start to withdraw, and we’re retreating to this place,” the former secretary of state said. “It’s as if during World War II we started broadcasting to the Germans or the Japanese exactly what we planned to do with the battle plan.”
“That tendency to want to talk about where we’re moving to and how we’re going to retrench and when we’re going to withdraw, I think has been really one of the most pernicious elements of our military policy over the last several years,” Rice asserted.
Lastly, Rice emphasized the damage the Biden administration has done for America’s credibility, particularly with her allies.
“Credibility is not divisible,” she explained. “You can’t lose credibility in one place and maintain it in other places, because people look at the totality of what you’ve become.”
“Our allies, who apparently weren’t really consulted properly, but most importantly had signed on to this 20-year war, are now wondering about us,” Rice stated bluntly. “And it’s going to take some work to rebuild those relationships — and you can’t just do it with words. I’m a former diplomat; I believe in diplomacy, but when it comes to some of the challenges out there where we have bad actors that might try to exploit, it’s going to require some action, too.”
“Our credibility’s taken a hit, and we just have to understand that and move on from there.”
During her commentary on the botched Biden exit from Afghanistan, Rice made it a point to emphasize that the U.S. Military did “heroic work” under “extraordinarily difficult circumstances.”
“I do want to say the men and women of the American Armed Forces, as always, did heroic work to get as many people out as they did under extraordinarily difficult circumstances — chaotic circumstances, where there was no way for force protection.”
“We lost 13 brave people, but I just want to say the American Military, again, covers itself in considerable excellence and glory.”