Without Evidence, President Biden “Rejects” Army Report on Botched Afghanistan Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Afghanistan:
“While the world’s eyes are fixed on this present foreign policy crisis, troubling facts are continuing to surface surrounding the Administration’s previous self-inflicted crisis — the botched retreat from Afghanistan.
“Last week, journalists published the findings of a 2,000-page autopsy that Army officials compiled following the chaotic withdrawal from Kabul.
“The report hammers home a damning fact we’ve known for months:
“The Biden Administration received clear advance warnings from commanders on the ground that should have been heeded, but went ignored. As I warned at the time, we have confirmation this disaster was foreseeable, foreseen, and avoidable.
“The Army’s conclusions build upon the report from the Special Inspector General which was declassified last month.
“While President Biden and his political advisors still cling to the notion they got mistaken advice and were caught off-guard, both these reports suggest that nonpartisan experts knew and predicted the Afghan military would likely collapse and spent months trying in vain to get the Administration to pay attention.
“Top commanders reported that trying to get State Department officials to engage in advance evacuation plans was ‘like pulling teeth.’
“That the National Security Council was ‘not seriously planning for an evacuation.’
“That, among peers in uniform, ‘everyone clearly saw some of the advantage of holding Bagram.’
“As the top U.S. commander on the ground during the evacuation put it, policymakers had not ‘paid attention to the indicators of what was happening on the ground.’
“This staggering report from our own U.S. Army should have chastened the Biden Administration. It should be an occasion for apology, reflection, and accountability.
“But last week, President Biden instead tried to simply wave away our own Army’s conclusions without evidence.
“He was asked: ‘Are you rejecting the conclusions or the accounts...in this Army report?’
“The President replied: ‘Yes, I am.’
"‘So they're not true?’
"‘I'm rejecting them.’
“No evidence. Just hand-waving denial. Frankly, it was a bizarre performance.
“Mr. President, our retreat from Afghanistan seriously damaged America’s credibility. It made confronting terrorist threats that much harder from ‘over the horizon’. And it invited more testing like what we are now dealing with in Eastern Europe.
“President Biden and his team were warned of all these dangers in advance. By our own U.S. military. But our commander-in-chief seems to have flat-out ignored our commanders.
“This has been an unbelievably costly lesson that the Biden Administration should never have had to learn even once. Let us all hope they don’t need to learn it twice.”
Related Issues: National Security, War on Terror, History, America's Military, Afghanistan