“It’s clear that if I had been president, we would have never diverted our attention from Afghanistan. When I went to Afghanistan the first time and was met by a young soldier from New York, in the 10th Mountain Division who told me that I was welcomed to the forgotten front lines in the war against terror that just struck me so forcefully. We have so many problems that we are going to have to untangle. It will take a tremendous amount of effort. What are we going to do going forward? Because day after day, what I spend my time working on is trying to help pick up the pieces for families and for injured soldiers trying to make sure that they get the help that they need, trying to give the resources that are required. We had to fight to get body armor. Bush sent people to war without body armor. We need a president who will be sensitive to the implications of the use of force and understand that force should be a last resort, not a first resort.”
The killing of bin Laden, she says, was a bonding experience. Obama's Cabinet had been split on whether to attempt the mission, but Clinton backed it and sweated out the decision with the commander-in-chief. "I've seen the president in a lot of intense and difficult settings," she says, "and I've watched him make hard decisions. Obviously, talking to you on September 11 as we are, the bin Laden decision-making process is certainly at the forefront of my mind."
"I would," she said when asked about extending the timeline at a Council on Foreign Relations event in Manhattan. "It depends on conditions, on the ground, and what is being asked for."
“I believe that if one of those two men, elected as president of Afghanistan, ... [came] with a well-thought-through plan about what was needed — because it is not only the United States which has agreed to continue to support, it is also NATO that has agreed to a continuing presence — I believe that would be very seriously considered."
Clinton stressed, however, that Afghanistan will need to "step up" its own security commitment. "We're willing to help you, we're willing to continue making the sacrifices necessary, but you have to step up to it. And the Afghan security forces have been well trained and they're getting better all the time,” she said.
Hillary Clinton will empower our partners to defeat terrorism and the ideologies that drive it, including through our ongoing partnership to build Iraqi military and governing capacity, our commitment to Afghanistan’s democracy and security, and by supporting efforts to restore stability to Libya and Yemen.
BILL O'REILLY: Afghanistan. Do you pull out of Afghanistan and let the Taliban take over?
DONALD TRUMP: I don't know that Afghanistan is much -- as much of a problem as Pakistan, because everyone is telling me they're all in Pakistan; they're not in Afghanistan.
O'REILLY: But they're going to come back.
TRUMP: Well, they may. I mean, they may. That's another thing, Pakistan. If Usama bin Laden is in Pakistan, why are we paying them hundreds of billions of dollars a year? Now what I would say, "Don't get scared. I want to get along, fellows. I love you. Let's go have a drink. But you're not getting money. We want Usama bin Laden. Because if you don't give us Usama bin Laden, we're just not giving you hundreds of billions of dollars."
O'REILLY: Listen, I've been calling for tougher in Pakistan...
TRUMP: You know what's going to happen? You have a 6'6" Arab, 6'6", who's on a dialysis machine, supposedly. And we can't find him? Now, if you tell me that the leaders of Pakistan don't know where a 6'6" guy is standing, you're wrong, OK? You're wrong.
O'REILLY: We know where he is.
TRUMP: Now what we say -- well, you don't know and I don't know. I wish I did.
O'REILLY: North Waziristan is what the CIA says.
TRUMP: You know what? Well, I hope you're right. But I'm sure if you said that, he's gone by now because, you know, he's a cunning character.
TRUMP: But here's what's not so cunning. We pay hundreds of billions of dollars a year to Pakistan, and if we said to them, "Sorry, folks, we can't do it. You have to give us Usama bin Laden." You know what? He'll be standing on the White House doorstep very quickly.
O'REILLY: But what I'm getting from you...
TRUMP: We don't have anybody that even thinks this way.
O'REILLY: OK. What I'm getting from you, though, is you would withdraw U.S. troops out of Afghanistan?
TRUMP: Yes, I would.
O'REILLY: OK. And then the Taliban comes back, because they would, and they re-establish.
TRUMP: Well, they're going to come back anyway because they're really in Pakistan.
TRUMP: Are you a warmonger? Do you want to attack Pakistan?
O'REILLY: That's a short drive. All right. This is serious. So they come back, and they reconstitute the Taliban government. Al Qaeda has the sanctuaries it has before. Then you're going to have to go back and take care of him anyway.
TRUMP: I don't believe too much in the soldier concept, other than I believe in air power. You're sort of seeing that over in Libya. You can knock the hell out of them without losing soldiers and losing lives...
O'REILLY: You kill a lot of civilians though.
TRUMP: ... and arms and legs. Well, not necessarily if you have good intelligence. You know, intelligence is the thing that this country is lacking, especially from its leadership.
O'REILLY: Afghanistan, you're out?
TRUMP: Look. I am the strongest military person, and if I have Iran in one, I would be the strongest military president ever. I believe in having -- I would not be cutting the budget. I'd be coming out with the best weapons ever, all right? But with Afghanistan, I want to build our country. You know, in Afghanistan, they build a school. They blow up the school. They blow up the road. We then start all over again. And in New Orleans and in Alabama, we can't build schools.
4 April, 2011: Trump on O’Reilly Factor discussing Afghanistan
“Afghanistan is a total and complete disaster. What are we doing? We have all of these horrible events taking place there, we can’t even run our own country. We don’t build our schools, we don’t build our highways, we don’t build anything anymore. What’s wrong with our leadership? And now we have Afghanistan, where a man loses his mind and goes around on a killing spree and the world hates us for it. What is going on? Money should be spent in our country, we should rebuild our country and we should also by the way reduce our 16 trillion dollars in debt. Let’s get with it, get out of Afghanistan. We’ve wasted billions and billions of dollars and more importantly thousands and thousands of lives, not to mention all of these young men and women that come home and they really have problems. Let’s go, let’s get with it, we need leaders that know what they’re doing."
13 March, 2012: From the Desk of Donald Trump
(0:00-0:57) (Continues on about Santorum, Obama and Romney)
"Let's get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA."