Biden NSA Sullivan: ‘There Will Be Time,’ as I Look Back, to See How ‘Courageous’ Decision to Exit Afghanistan Could’ve Been Handled Better


During an interview with Bloomberg recorded on September 7 and aired on Wednesday’s edition of “The David Rubenstein Show, Peer to Peer Conversations,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said “there will be time, as I end up looking back and reflecting on that period, to pinpoint” how the exit from Afghanistan might have been done differently, but the decision to end the war, which was done “in a quite courageous way, was the correct decision.”

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

Sullivan responded, “Well, at the end of the day, any time you have a circumstance where you’re ending a 20-year war, with 20 years of decisions and mistakes that have piled up through multiple administrations, the exit would not be easy. There was no clean, easy exit. And I think the strategic decision to go, to end that war after 20 years, was absolutely the correct decision. Were there things that we could have done differently? I think the answer to that is always yes. And there will be time, as I end up looking back and reflecting on that period, to pinpoint what some of those might’ve been. But from my perspective, the underlying decision to end the war in Afghanistan, which the president took, I think, in a quite courageous way, was the correct decision. And one year later, to me, it is — the time that has passed has only reinforced the correctness of that decision.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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