Former US ambassador: Situation in Afghanistan ‘has emboldened violent Islamic radicals’
Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said on Sunday that the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has “embolden violent Islamic radicals.”
On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” guest host Major Garrett asked Crocker if the events in Afghanistan have weakened the U.S.’s position against countries such as China, Russia and Pakistan.
“It has created a global crisis, quite frankly,” Crocker, who served under four U.S. presidents, said. “It has emboldened violent Islamic radicals, and I think we’re all gonna see the fallout of that, certainly in Pakistan, a champion the Taliban.”
“The Taliban victory, the narrative of defeating the great, the great infidel empowers radicals in Pakistan that they’re going to have to deal with if they can,” Crocker added.
“China has its Uyghur Muslim population in its west. They’re tuned in there. They’re definitely looking at what happened in Afghanistan. And of course the Russians have their own Muslim populations in very violent places in the past like Chechnya. So they might be doing a little bit of high-fiving.”
Crocker said in an interview following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban last week that he was “left with some grave questions in my mind about [President Biden’s] ability to lead our nation as commander in chief.”
“What President Biden has done is to embrace the Afghan policy of President Trump, and this is the outcome,” Crocker, who has served as U.S. ambassador to numerous countries in the Middle East throughout his career, including Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Pakistan and Iraq, told The Spokesman-Review.
Garrett asked Crocker on Sunday to elaborate on what he meant in that interview.
“President Biden didn’t create this whole scenario. President Trump did by engaging the Taliban in talks without the Afghan government in the room that began a process and delegitimization of the state and its security forces. That was a huge contributing factor to where we are now,” Crocker said.
“I mean, that said, President Biden owns it. He’s taken ownership of the policy. He has taken ownership of the envoy who negotiated this thing. So lots of blame to go around here, but it doesn’t all fall on President Biden,” Crocker added.
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