Kamala Harris Says DEMOCRACY Biggest National Security Threat, Supports Kabul Withdrawal
Vice President Kamala Harris said in her CBS interview on Sunday that “democracy” was the greatest threat to US national security.
She had tried to echo the Democrats’ warning about threats to the “integrity” of the American democratic system as her boss, President Joe Biden, tried to push his voting rights platform through Congress.
In the latter part of his high-profile interview released during the week, Harris also defended the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, instead accusing his predecessor of first setting the deadline for leaving, and added that climate change was one of the biggest emerging security threats in the United States.
“What do you think is the biggest national security challenge facing the United States? What’s the one thing that worries you and keeps you awake at night? Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan asked.
The Vice President replied, “Frankly, one of them is our democracy. And that I can talk about because it’s unclassified.
“I think there is no doubt in the minds of foreign policy experts that the year 2021 is not the year 2000. You know, I think there is so much about foreign policy. and interior which, for example, were guided and prioritized on the base on September 11, 2001.
In the latter part of her full-scale CBS interview this week, Kamala Harris discussed the withdrawal from Afghanistan, threats to national security, and his role as border czar.
“And we are entering a new era where threats to our nation take many forms, including the threat that autocracies will gain the upper hand and have disproportionate influence in the world.”
She adjusted her initial comments, emphasizing the need to “fight for the integrity of our democracy”.
Harris, who has long campaigned for climate change awareness, added that “fighting for the integrity of democracy” “is obviously about what we need to do about the climate crisis.”
She explained that global warming is directly linked to global security because it poses a threat that the United States and its allies have the best chance of overcoming if they work together.
At another point, the vice president praised Biden for stepping away from another element of post-9/11 politics by withdrawing from Afghanistan after a 20-year occupation.
Biden and his senior officials have faced bipartisan criticism for the botched pullout effort that left as many as 200 U.S. citizens and thousands of U.S. Army Afghan allies behind, despite the president’s pledge to stay until all the Americans are out.
Amid the crowded and chaotic scenes outside Kabul airport in August, a suicide attack slaughtered 170 Afghan civilians and 13 US servicemen.
Harris, who said she was the “last person in the room” when Biden made the critical decision, did not give a clear answer when asked if she felt responsible for the chaotic operation.
She also noted that it was Donald Trump’s deal with the Taliban to withdraw the US military that Biden was following.
In negotiations that left out the U.S.-backed Afghan government, Trump brokered a deal that all U.S. troops would leave the country months sooner than Biden finally did.
Harris did not say if she felt responsible for the Kabul evacuation chaos, instead blaming the Trump administration
“I fully supported the President’s decision to act as a never-ending war, to withdraw American troops, and I think it’s really important to remember that the previous administration has negotiated a deal with the Taliban, did not invite the Afghan government to be at the table and negotiated a deal that – that was required and promised as part of a deal that we would withdraw by the end of May ” , said Harris.
“So we were charged with this responsibility on the basis of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban.”
She added that she does not “regret” following through on the deal, saying the alternative could have been an even bigger conflict.
“We decided that if we were to break the deal, it would have been a whole different situation, and for now, I firmly believe that if we had broken that deal, we would be talking about the war in Afghanistan,” Harris said.
“And American troops in Afghanistan, and we’re not talking about that. I do not regret it.
Brennan asked Harris how she had managed to reconcile her decades-long career advocating for women and girls with concerns about the plight of Afghan women under the repressive Taliban rule.
“One of our big problems in terms of conversations with the Taliban is exactly this point, which is the condition, status and treatment of women and girls, including for girls, access to education, not to mention our concern about the fight against terrorism and what we need to do about this threat, ”said Harris, adding that“ these are real problems, there is no question ”.
She said the United States was working with the United Nations to “bypass the Taliban” to ensure that needed aid reaches women and girls.
Harris pledged to continue to fight for the women and girls in Afghanistan, who are now forced to live under the oppressive Taliban regime
Earlier this week, the Biden administration said it wanted to expand the flow of aid to humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan in a bid to alleviate the country’s post-uprising economic crisis without fear of the Taliban wasting it. another way.
“I am concerned that the Taliban have failed to respect what we know to be the proper treatment and good treatment of girls and women, and that is why we are taking the position that we are with the Taliban at this time, because it ‘is one of our biggest considerations and concerns, ”said Harris.
The vice president faced her own criticisms of her handling of the Afghan crisis as the evacuation continued in late August.
On August 23, video emerged of a reporter attempting to question Harris about the roar of a jet engine over Americans still stranded in Afghanistan and trying to leave.
“Wait, wait, wait,” Harris said before the reporter could finish.
“Slow down, everyone,” she said after a big laugh.
“I want to talk about two things,” Harris said afterwards. “First, Afghanistan, we couldn’t have a higher priority at the moment”,
“And in particular, the priority is to make sure that we safely evacuate American citizens, Afghans who have worked with us, Afghans at risk, including women and children, and that is one of our highest, if not the highest priority right now. “
“And that’s a big area of interest for me over the past few days and weeks, and will continue to be,” she added.
But she was still irritated for spending several days without talking about the plight of women and girls before promising that the United States would continue to seek their protection.
In her CBS interview, Sunday Harris was also asked about her role as Biden’s border czar.
Since the president asked her to lead the federal government’s response to the uncontrolled migration to the southern border in March, Harris has spent just two days in Guatemala and Mexico working on the issue.
She accepted criticism from civil rights groups and members of her own party for sadly sending a message to Guatemalans to “not come” to the US border.
“When I was in Guatemala, I spoke with the Guatemalan people about what I said to the people in this same room who gathered on this issue, which is the vast majority of people, no matter where. they come, don’t want to leave the house. They don’t want to quit the language they speak, ”Harris said Sunday.
Harris and Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo greet each other during his arrival ceremony in Guatemala City on Sunday, June 6. Guatemalan President said he had not heard from Harris since that trip
Harris also insisted that addressing the “root causes” of migration remains his primary focus, although Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei told Fox News just weeks ago that he hadn’t had it. news from the vice-president since June.
She refused to give in to criticism that her boss had given her a hard hand by assigning gigantic tasks like illegal immigration and the right to vote to her deputy, defiantly declaring that she had not been “prepared for. to fail”.
“But more importantly, I’m the vice president of the United States, all I’m managing is because it’s a tough problem and can’t be dealt with on another level,” Harris said.
“And there are a lot of big, difficult issues that need to be addressed. And it’s actually been a part of my lifelong career dealing with tough issues and it’s no different.
Harris declined to take the opportunity to attribute his criticism to racism and misogyny, saying, “I’ll leave that to others.”
Brennan bluntly asked Harris what his biggest failure was this year, to which Harris joked, “Don’t get out of DC any more.”