Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Sunday blasted President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Aug. 31 “one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history.”
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” McConnell said the withdrawal has left America with “very little leverage there” and raises the possibility of hostage-taking.
“I think calling it an ‘endless war’ or claiming that we are somehow trying to get involved in a … domestic civil war is simply not accurate,” he said. “We went over there to protect us here at home.”
McConnell noted there hasn’t been a “mass casualty attack” from Afghanistan in 20 years, and that indicates “a successful policy.”
“Now we are looking at the exit and over the next two days, our heroic military is doing the best they can with a horrible policy decision,” he said. “This is one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history. Much worse than Saigon because after we left Saigon, there were there weren’t Vietnamese terrorists who were planning on attacking us here at home.”
“Just because we decided to quit fighting doesn’t mean the terrorists go away, so they are still out there, they are invigorated, they are emboldened and excited about the success they say in bringing America to its knees in Afghanistan,” he added.
McConnell said without sources on the ground, the Taliban will be emboldened to take hostages.
“The Taliban love taking hostages. They’ve done this before,” he said. “It puts us in an extraordinarily difficult position …We have very, very little leverage to extract additional Americans or Afghan allies from this landlocked country.”
McConnell also said Biden is “off the mark” on asserting there was no point in remaining in Afghanistan and risking lives for a war we already won.
“Totally not accurate. Once again the president is off the mark,” McConnell said.
“We hadn’t lost as many as 13 people, which we lost Thursday, in any of the last four years. In fact, our casualties since 2014 have been quite modest, quite modest. We lost more … of our military personnel last Thursday then we lost in any one of the last four years, so the balance has been dramatically reduced for American personnel.”
McConnell lamented that up until now, the Afghans have been “fighting and we’ve been in the background helping them with counterterrorism and the ongoing training of the military.”
“The policy was working if you remember why we went there, it was to keep the Taliban out in the terrorists from being able to operate with impunity so they can attack us again here at home,” he said.
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