20:42 GMT17 May 2021
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    Hillary Clinton, who served as US secretary of state under former president Barack Obama, supported moving an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan to counter gains made by the Taliban in 2009.

    Former US secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice have criticised President Joe Biden’s plan to withdraw the US troops from Afghanistan in a House Foreign Affairs Committee members-only Zoom call on Wednesday, two attendees said.

    "A little disagreement on Afghanistan, but they both agreed we're going to need to sustain a counter-terrorism mission somehow outside of that country," one committee member told Axios.

    "Condi Rice is like, 'you know, we’re probably gonna have to go back'," the member said.

    Both former secretaries raised concerns about the potential negative consequences from a quick removal of US troops, another member of the committee told the outlet.

    Clinton and Rice were also concerned about protecting the US diplomats on the ground following the withdrawal.

    "With the potential for an Islamic State*, coupled with what they're going to do to our contractors in Yemen and Afghanistan is, sadly, it's going to be tragic there and we all see it coming," Republican Representative on the committee Mike McCaul told the outlet.

    Biden announced the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan on 14 April. Troops are scheduled to be fully withdrawn by 11 September, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack.

    However, the date is months past the original 1 May deadline agreed to under the Trump administration.

    US forces invaded Afghanistan in late 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, ostensibly to capture or kill Saudi-born multimillionaire and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Since then the US and its NATO allies have been dragging their feet in a war against the Taliban.


    *Daesh, also known as ISIL, ISIS or Islamic State is a terror organisation banned in Russia and many other countries

    Tags:
    Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Afghanistan, US
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