Washington: Former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice said that ‘The United States is much safer than 20 years back. However, the decision of military withdrawal from Afghanistan was just not right, cause the US has lost its ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ on the ground in the country.’
After the September 11 attacks, the US waged war against terrorism in Afghanistan. The attacks killed around 3,000 civilians. It has been 20 years since the incident. Against the backdrop, a leading US news channel interviewed then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She was questioned on the changes made to the US security system. Rice said that there were definitely significant changes made to the security and that the US had certainly become safer than before 9/11.
‘After the 9/11 attacks, the US created the ‘Department of Homeland Security’ (DHS) and ‘National Counterterrorism Center’ (NCTC). It has helped the United States to prevent terrorist attacks ever since,’ Rice said. Additionally, the former US Secretary of State highlighted that the United States had successfully crushed Al Qaeda for launching the deadly attack. Nevertheless, Rice emphasised that ‘The success of the United States of the past 20 years and decision of military withdrawal from Afghanistan are two different affairs.’
‘The part that doesn’t make me feel very comforted is that we have lost the eyes and ears on the ground in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of troops that helped us know where the terrorists were, which allowed us to run operations against them. The Bargam and others airbases enabled the US to launch drone strikes on extremists’ sites. Thus, the US has lost some of its capabilities with the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan‘, former Secretary of State Rice severely criticised. Rice had mentioned the significance of having ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ on the ground in Afghanistan for US security even in the past. Similarly, she had also fiercely opposed the Biden administration’s decision of complete withdrawal from Afghanistan.