Stephen Colbert & Pete Buttigieg Discuss U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan: “We’ve Got To Leave”


The Late Show with Stephen Colbert makes a generational leap in Democratic presidential candidates as guests tonight, as the CBS late-night talker welcomes Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

And in contrast to Colbert’s Wednesday night jokefest with front-runner Joe Biden — who is more than twice Buttigieg’s age — there’s not a lot of comedy in the clip from tonight’s show that was put out on Twitter. In fact, the topic is deadly serious: How can the U.S. get out of Afghanistan, and can we trust the Taliban in negotiations?

“I think the important thing is to make sure that we have a deal that works for our interests that is enforceable,” the 37-year-old Afghan War veteran said.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to leave,” the candidate added later. “And this is the one thing the left, the right, the Taliban, the Afghan government and the international community can all agree on — that we’re leaving. The question is, are we going to leave well, or are we going to leave poorly?

“And I think what we’ve gotta do is we gotta leave with whatever assurances we need on keeping the American homeland safe but without getting sucked into a generation of guaranteeing all that needs to go right with the Afghan government.”

He also noted that he’s “a little worried” that the current administration is allowing the timeframe “to be decided by the American political calendar.”

The clip wraps with this sobering remark by Buttigieg: “It is September of 2019 — that means you could be 18, you could be old enough to enlist a couple of weeks from now, and not have been alive on 9/11. It won’t be that long before we get news of an [American] casualty in Afghanistan who was not alive on 9/11, unless we do something different.”

Here’s a clip from tonight’s interview:

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