State Dept's Ned Price: 'I have a hard time understanding' what Afghanistan withdrawal has to do with Russia

Posted 112 days ago


State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Monday he has a "hard time" understanding how the U. S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened autocratic leaders around the world like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During a press briefing Monday about ongoing discussions with Russia, which appears poised to strike Ukraine at any moment, Price was asked whether the Biden administration was aware that "the whole world is watching just like what happened in Afghanistan."

The reporter cited claims that Russia is "taking a page of what happened in Afghanistan" in its tactics against Ukraine, and that an invasion without a major U. S. response would have a "domino effect" around the world, including "China against Taiwan, Iran and its proxies, North Korea and its ballistic missiles against South Korea and Japan."

Price argued that ending the war in Afghanistan allowed the U. S. to be more "strategically positioned" to address Russia.

He said, "I have a hard time understanding how it is that putting an end to a 20-year military commitment where the United States spent billions upon billions of dollars every year, where thousands of American troops, at one point tens of thousands of American troops were stationed, where there was a NATO commitment, where thousands of NATO troops were stationed for many years, taking casualties, enduring the loss of life with an open-ended military commitment – were that still to be the case, how [would] we be better strategically positioned to take on what we're seeing now from the Russian Federation?"

The reporter pushed back, saying some critics and allies view the Afghanistan situation as the U. S. turning its back on the now-Tal... (Read more)