“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace challenged National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday, asking whether he was prepared to guarantee that withdrawing troops from Afghanistan would not bolster terrorist groups.
Wallace noted that Biden had been in favor of the troop drawdown in Iraq — which took place while he was serving as vice president under former President Barack Obama — which was quickly followed by the rise of ISIS. (RELATED: ‘Handing A Propaganda Tool To The Taliban’: Dana Perino Blasts Plan To Set Afghanistan Exit For 9/11)
“You know what happened as well as I do. ISIS grew, ended up seizing 40 percent of the territory in Iraq, and the U.S. ended up having to send back 5,000 troops because they left too early,” Wallace said. “Can you guarantee that won’t happen in Afghanistan?”
“I can tell you that President Biden has no intention of sending forces back to Afghanistan but at the same time, he has no intention of taking our eye off the ball,” Sullivan replied, arguing that there would be constant vigilance to prevent the rise of terrorist threats in Afghanistan.
“I can’t make any guarantees about what will happen inside the country. No one can,” Sullivan continued. “All the United States could do is provide the Afghan security forces, the Afghan government, and the Afghan people resources and capabilities, training and equipping their forces, providing assistance to their government. We have done that and now it is time for American troops to come home and the Afghan people to step up to defend their own country.”
Biden has received some bipartisan support for ending the war in Afghanistan, but critics on both sides of the political aisle have also wondered whether removing American troops from Afghanistan would give the Taliban free rein to oppress women and young girls.