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Afghanistan Ambassador: Withdrawing Prematurely Could Lead to 'Another 9/11


"An unacceptable risk for any American"

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said that Sunday’s attacks on Western embassies in Afghanistan only confirm that the U.S. must finish its mission in the country, and not withdraw early.

(Related: Taliban Claims Responsibility as Coordinated Explosions Rip Through Capital)

Despite American aversion to the war, he maintains that the risks of early departure are unacceptable and could even mean “another 9/11.”

"Attacks like this demonstrate why we need to be here," he said on CNN's State of the Union.

"To get out before the Afghans have a full grip on security, which is a couple of years out, would be to invite the Taliban and Al Qaeda back in and set the stage for another 9/11.   And that, I think, is an unacceptable risk for any American."

However, Crocker praised the progress of the Afghan security forces, saying they already "pretty much have the situation under control."

"We've seen a very professional performance by Afghan security forces. They are able to deal with events like this on their own -- a clear sign of progress."

The Taliban claim that it will soon launch an "assault" of even larger attacks, but Crocker said the Taliban is good at "issuing statements," but not as good at fighting.

"Frankly, I don't think the Taliban's good enough" to carry out such a widespread assault, at this point, he said.

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