Blinken: ‘Simply Not in the National Interest’ to Stay in Afghanistan for Another 5, 10, 20 Years

‘Like it or not, there was an agreement that the forces would come out on May 1st’


BLINKEN: "Again, I come back to what we were talking about a few minutes ago, which is that that status quo was not sustainable. Like it or not, there was an agreement that the forces would come out on May 1. Had they not, had we not begun that process, which is what the President did, and the Taliban saw, then we would have been back at war with the Taliban. And we would have been back at war, with tens of thousands of troops having to go in, because the 2,500 troops we had there and the airpower would not have sufficed to deal with the situation, especially as we see, alas, the hollowness of the Afghan security forces. And, by the way, from the perspective of our strategic competitors around the world, there's nothing they would like more than to see us in Afghanistan for another five, 10, 20 years. It's simply not in the national interest."

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