Hillary Clinton has warned the US will face 'huge consequences' from President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
The former secretary of state voiced her disapproval publicly for the first time in an interview with CNN on Sunday as violence erupted immediately after the US formally launched its withdrawal of 2,500 troops and began handing control back to the Afghan government.
Asked by CNN's Fareed Zakaria what she thought of the withdrawal decision, Clinton said: 'Well, it's been made. And I know it is a very difficult decision.
'This is what we call a wicked problem. You know there are consequences both foreseen and unintended of staying and of leaving. The president has made the decision to leave.'
Clinton said the US should be prepared for 'two huge consequences' - a collapse of the Afghan government and takeover by the Taliban, and a subsequent outpouring of refugees.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Her comments to CNN came two days after Axios reported that both she and Condoleezza Rice, who served as secretary of state under George W Bush, had voiced concerns with the withdrawal to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Hillary Clinton warned the US will face 'huge consequences' over President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in an interview with CNN on Sunday (pictured)
Clinton's warning came a day after the US formally passed control of Camp Antonik in the southern Helmand province to Afghan forces on Saturday (pictured)
Explaining the two consequences she foresaw to CNN, Clinton said: 'One, the potential collapse of the Afghan government and a takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, probably with a resumption of civil war in certain parts of the country, but a largely Taliban-run government at some point in the not-too-distant future.
'How do we help and protect the many, many thousands of Afghans who worked with the United States and NATO, who worked with American and other NATO-connected contractors who stood up and spoke out for women's rights and human rights.
'I hope that the administration in concert with the Congress will have a very large visa program and will begin immediately to try to provide that channel for so many Afghans to utilize so that they are not left in danger.
'There will also be, I fear, a huge refugee outflow. And of course the second big set of problems revolves around a resumption of activities by global terrorist groups, most particularly Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.'
She concluded: 'It's one thing to pull out troops that have been supporting security in Afghanistan, supporting the Afghan military, leaving it pretty much to fend for itself, but we can't afford to walk away from the consequences of that decision.'Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Clinton's fears appeared to be already coming into fruition as the Afghan defence ministry reported on Sunday that fighting between its forces and the Taliban had left more than 100 insurgents dead within 24 hours of the US officially beginning its withdrawal.
The ministry's report came after the US passed control of the Camp Antonik in the southern Helmand province to Afghan forces with a ceremonial changing of flags that fly over the base.
Officials did not say how many Afghan soldiers had been hurt in clashes with the Taliban across several provinces.
A US soldier and an Afghan National Army soldier shaking hands during a handover ceremony at Camp Antonik in the Helmand province on Saturday
US soldiers take down the American flag at Camp Antonik during a handover ceremony
On Friday - a day before the withdrawal began - Clinton and Rice appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee via Zoom to air their concerns, sources familiar with the meeting told Axios.
'A little disagreement on Afghanistan, but they both agreed we're going to need to sustain a counterterrorism mission somehow outside of that country,' one committee member told the outlet.
Condoleezza Rice (pictured) joined Clinton to voice concerns about the Afghanistan withdrawal in a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting last week
They quoted Rice as saying: 'You know, we're probably gonna have to go back [to Afghanistan].'
House Rep. Mike McCaul,