Botched Afghanistan Retreat Leaves America Less Credible, Less Capable, and in More Danger

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Afghanistan:

“Over the state work period, as Senators attended to business back home, the Biden Administration’s reckless decision to retreat from Afghanistan was carried through to a damaging and deadly end.

“The consequences of its hasty retreat were not just foreseeable. They were actually foreseen. And yet, against the advice of members from both parties, and even its own national security experts, the Administration plowed ahead.

“Just weeks after abandoning our strategic airbase in the dead of night, the Biden Administration told Americans and vulnerable Afghan partners they were largely on their own to make it to the commercial airport in Kabul if they wanted out of Afghanistan.

“And by the White House’s own admission, some of the Americans who wanted to come home were left behind. Let that sink in. President Biden left Americans who wanted to escape behind, in the clutches of the Taliban.

“Of course, Americans aren’t the only people we left behind. In order to meet an arbitrary political deadline, the Biden Administration also pulled out before we had helped all the brave Afghans who stuck their necks out to assist American servicemembers and build a better future for their country.

“Our nation made a promise of aid and safety in exchange for their service. And on this President’s watch, we failed to keep the promise. We left Americans and vulnerable Afghans behind.

“The Administration naively expected the Taliban to behave like any law-abiding member of the so-called international community, supposedly subject to tremendous leverage for recognition and funding.

“Well, our adversaries are sending emissaries to the Taliban and the terrorists in Kabul seem unconcerned with diplomacy. Trust in the Taliban to ensure safe passage to the airport for evacuees was fatally misplaced. And anyone who expected the group to become ‘inclusive’ should now rightly expect to be laughed out of the room.

“The Administration confidently insisted it would own the consequences of its withdrawal efforts. But as soon as their lack of planning bore real, deadly consequences, it pointed the blame at everyone but the reflection in the mirror.

“And now, in a bizarre twist of narcissism, the White House is now holding up its belated and frantic evacuations as worthy of praise and credit.

“So, Madam President, where are we now?

“A wall outside the compound that until recently housed the U.S. Embassy in Kabul now bears a mural of the Taliban flag. Four terrorists once detained at Guantanamo Bay now hold senior positions in the Taliban regime. And in the void left by our coalition’s withdrawal, we are less able to collect intelligence and fight terrorists on their own soil.

“Madam President, this failure was entirely avoidable. The consequences were foreseeable. And the stain of our retreat has left America more endangered, less credible, and with fewer capabilities in the face of real and growing terrorist threats.”


Related Issues: War on Terror, America's Military, Afghanistan