Biden Team’s Afghanistan Denial Costing Afghan Lives and American Security
‘As the Administration’s withdrawal proceeds at full speed, expert warnings have become deadly realities. The Afghan people, and their democratic institutions, are being ripped apart by murderous theocrats… This willful denial isn’t just costing Afghanistan. It’s already costing the American people and our interests.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Afghanistan:
“When the Biden Administration announced its reckless retreat from Afghanistan in April, I made my opposition very clear.
“But I was hardly alone. One of the most prominent liberal editorial boards in the country responded to the President’s move with this headline, quote: ‘Biden takes the easy way out of Afghanistan. The likely result is disaster.’
“The Administration’s own top intelligence experts made a similar prediction. Quote: ‘The Taliban is likely to make gains on the battlefield, and the Afghan Government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws its support.’ The Director of the CIA told Senators that withdrawal would make his agency’s job harder. And needless to say, the last time a Democratic administration tried a hasty retreat from the region offered a cautionary tale.
“Reality was clear to everyone but the very top of the Biden Administration. From their bizarre choice of a symbolic September 11th deadline to the absence of any concrete plan, the Administration’s decision appears to have rested on wishful thinking and not much else.
“The notion that Afghan forces might be able to stop the Taliban’s advance with only ‘over-the-horizon’ support? That’s proven to be wishful thinking.
“That the Taliban might respond to the diplomatic plying of the international community? Wishful thinking, too.
“As the Administration’s withdrawal proceeds at full speed, expert warnings have become deadly realities. The Afghan people, and their democratic institutions, are being ripped apart by murderous theocrats. Nearly 1,000 Afghans have reportedly been killed by Taliban death squads in the province of Kandahar alone.
“In the last two months, the militants have taken more territory than they’ve held since 2001. And in just the last four days, the Taliban have raised their flag over six provincial capitals, including northern cities far from the group’s historic base of power.
“Militants are engaged in a campaign to assassinate crucial members of the remaining resistance, from military pilots to top government ministers.
“Across the country, women and children are already suffering, in particular. One recent report claimed Taliban militants beat a child to death because his father served in the Afghan Armed Forces.
“What’s more, the prospect of an emboldened Al-Qaeda – capable of threatening not only the region, but the American homeland – is now a near certainty, no matter what the Biden Administration tells itself about the state of that threat today.
“And yet, the State Department still mouths unbelievably naive platitudes, like a, quote, ‘expectation’ that the Taliban will work toward a ‘political settlement’.
“Even as a Taliban spokesman asserted that the most recent attacks are just, quote: ‘the beginning of the retaliatory operations…’ Does this sound like a group committed to peaceful means? Get a grip!
“This willful denial isn’t just costing Afghanistan. It’s already costing the American people and our interests.
“It’s forced loyal coalition partners to second-guess whether we can be trusted to finish what we start. It’s led brave Afghans who earned promises of assistance to fear they’d be abandoned amid our incompetent retreat. It’s even left overwhelmed Embassy personnel to urge remaining Americans in Afghanistan to leave immediately by any means available.
“This morning I attended a classified briefing from Administration officials about current conditions on the ground. Needless to say, the briefers faced some tough questions about an entirely avoidable situation that is deteriorating faster every day. And they’ll certainly face more as global terrorists feed from the rise of an extremist government in Afghanistan.
“I’ve warned repeatedly that those who seek to harm us, our friends, and our interests do not abide by our political timetables. They do not care if our leaders get tired of the task at hand.
“And this is not what victory looks like.”
Related Issues: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, America's Military