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‘It will be time’, looking back, to see how the ‘courageous’ decision to leave Afghanistan could have been handled better

During an interview with Bloomberg taped Sept. 7 and airing on Wednesday’s edition of “The David Rubenstein Show, Peer to Peer Conversations,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said “there will be time, because I end up looking back and reflecting on this period, to identify “how the exit from Afghanistan could have been done differently, but the decision to end the war, which was taken” in a rather courageous way, was the right one decision “.

Host David Rubenstein asked, [relevant exchange begins around 22:35] “In hindsight, would you have left Afghanistan differently than you did?”

Sullivan replied, “Well, at the end of the day, any time you have a circumstance where you end a 20-year war, with 20 years of decisions and mistakes that have accumulated across multiple administrations, the exit would not be easy. There was no clean and easy way out. And I think the strategic decision to go there, to end this war after 20 years, was absolutely the right decision. Are there things we could have done differently? I think the answer is still yes. And there will be time, as I eventually look back and reflect on that time period, to identify what some of them might have been. But from my perspective, the underlying decision to end the war in Afghanistan, which the president made, I think, quite bravely, was the right decision. And a year later, for me, this is – the passage of time has only reinforced the correctness of this decision.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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