Vice President Kamala Harris called ''democracy'' one of the most significant national security threat facing the United States — stumbling on a warning from other Democrats about threats to the integrity of the democratic system.
In an interview on CBS News' ''Face the Nation,'' Harris was asked what she sees as ''the biggest national security challenge confronting the U.S. What is the thing that worries you and keeps you up at night?'' a transcript of the interview showed.
She answered: ''Frankly, one of them is our democracy.''
''There is, I think, no question in the minds of people who are foreign policy experts that the year 2021 is not the year 2000,'' she said. ''You know, I think there's so much about foreign and domestic policy that, for example, was guided and prioritized based on Sept. 11, 2001.
''And we are embarking on a new era where the threats to our nation take many forms, including the threat of autocracies taking over and having outsized influence around the world.''
She added in an amendment to her first statement: ''And so I go back to our point about the need to fight for the integrity of our democracy.''
''What we must do then in the face of any and all threats is recognize that one of our greatest strengths is to strengthen our relationship with our allies and partners around the world,'' she said, adding: ''I think one of the greatest threats that we saw recently is that when we pull out of those relationships, we weaken our standing as a nation and therefore weaken, I believe, our security.''
Harris said '''fighting for the integrity of democracy'' is ''obviously about what we need to do in the climate crisis,'' noting that climate change is linked to global security.
She also said she ''fully supported'' President Joe Biden's decision to end the nation's 20-year war with Afghanistan by removing U.S. troops.
''I think it's really important to remember that the previous administration negotiated a deal with the Taliban, did not invite the Afghan government to be at the table, and negotiated a deal that required and promised as part of an agreement that we would pull out by the end of May,'' Harris said.
''So we were saddled with that responsibility based on an agreement between the United States and the Taliban.''
''We made the decision that if we were to break the agreement, it would have been a whole other situation right now,'' she added.
''I strongly believe that had we broken that agreement, we would be talking about the war in Afghanistan and American troops in Afghanistan, and we're not talking about that. I don't regret that,'' she said.
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