Former US ambassador to Afghanistan: ‘The war is yet to come’

Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker on Thursday said more violence is on the horizon after attacks in Kabul killed 12 U.S. service members.

Crocker, during an interview on CNN’s “The Lead,” said the U.S. withdrawal has emboldened militants in a number of countries, adding that “what happens in Afghanistan doesn’t stay in Afghanistan.”

“The war is yet to come. This whole withdrawal announcement and process has been an enormous morale boost for Islamic radicals everywhere. Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Pakistani Taliban, you name it. They are on a roll, and they know it,” Crocker said.

Crocker’s comments come after two suicide bombs were detonated outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least a dozen U.S. service members.

The Islamic State has since claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Crocker, who led the U.S. Embassy in Kabul from 2002 to 2003 and from 2011 to 2012, said Afghanistan will serve as a “breeding ground” for terrorist groups to carry out attacks similar to the ones on Thursday.

“So the issue is not that the Taliban control the country right now; Taliban really don’t control the country and nobody does. That is a breeding ground for these kinds of actions and for these kinds of people to come back and take root. And that is what brought us 9/11, we’ve now got the same dynamic,” he said.

When asked by host Jake Tapper what he is most afraid of in the weeks and months to come, Crocker said there is already an “upsurge in radical Islamic activities,” adding that he would watch Pakistan and other countries.

“I would watch Pakistan pretty closely and I would watch for signs of activism, more visible presence, statements, attacks, whatever from a number of countries that have problems with Islamic militants,” he said.

Crocker has been vocal regarding the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, telling CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the U.S. withdrawal from the country has emboldened “violent Islamic radicals.”

Last week, he told a newspaper in Washington state that he has “some grave questions” about President Biden’s “ability to lead our nation as commander-in-chief” following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

Tags Afghanistan Afghanistan withdrawal Bill Burns Jake Tapper Joe Biden Kabul Pakistan U.S. Service Members

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