Top officials from Joe Biden’s national security apparatus stated that the next few days will be crucial in order to pull out Afghanistan fully. In a Sunday interview, U.S. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken warned about imminent attacks that could lead to Biden’s August 31 deadline for retreat.
“When it comes to the risk going forward for the next couple of days, the president is exactly right. This is very high risk and as he said, there is a high likelihood of additional attacks between now and the 31st,” he explained. “…This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission, this last couple of days. We will do everything possible to keep people safe.”
Blinken said that the U.S. would likely not have troops on the ground if the U.S. finally retreated. The top U.S. diplomat assured that the State Department would continue to remove all Americans from the country if they wanted to.
Today, nearly 100 countries issued a joint statement on the assurances by the Taliban that all foreign nationals and any Afghan citizen with travel authorization from our countries will be allowed to safely travel outside Afghanistan. We will hold the Taliban to that commitment. https://t.co/nZtyWPHsJu— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 29, 2021
Jake Sullivan, the White House National Security Adviser, also spoke out about the relationship that the United States has with Afghanistan. This relationship extends beyond the Taliban’s surrender. Sullivan stated that the Biden administration had sufficient economic leverage to make the Taliban agree to allow U.S. troops to continue safe evacuation efforts.
Sullivan said that once all Americans and their allies are out of Afghanistan, America will be able to monitor Afghanistan from outside its borders just like the national security apparatus has done with other countries.
“What we have proven over time in other countries is that we are capable of suppressing the terrorism threat, including external plotting capabilities without a large permanent presence on the ground,” he mentioned. “We have done that in places like Libya and Somalia, places like Yemen, and we will do that in Afghanistan as well as we go forward.”
Critics have however sung a different tune about the Biden administration’s handling of this crisis. GOP Rep. Peter Meijer, Mich., and Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton, Mass. This week, the two representatives from Michigan (Rom. Peter Meijer and Dem. Seth Moulton) reported back about their trip to Afghanistan. According to the veterans, Biden’s decision has put immense stress on U.S. diplomats and troops on the ground.
Today with @RepMeijer I visited Kabul airport to conduct oversight on the evacuation.— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) August 25, 2021
Witnessing our young Marines and soldiers at the gates, navigating a confluence of humanity as raw and visceral as the world has ever seen, was indescribable. pic.twitter.com/bWGQh1iw2c
Both men praised U.S. forces’ efforts to evacuate Americans safely. However, they said that Washington officials were not leading the way to make the war worth the 20-year effort.
“If you draw this over the past two decades, at any one year you could say what is our mission there and you would get a different answer from the other 19. There needs to be unsparing accountability,” Meijer asserted. “We should have never put our American men and women in this position and we need to realign our strategic and operational priorities to ensure that it never happens again. This is a failure upon failure.”
Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, expressed concern about America’s future retreat. He stated that the withdrawal empowered terrorists in the nation and predicted a major attack on U.S. soil.
“The chance of another 9/11 just went through the roof. These drone attacks will not degrade ISIS. The number of ISIS fighters have doubled,” he stated. “For the next 20 years, American presidents will be dealing with this catastrophe in Afghanistan. This war has not ended. We’ve entered into a new deadly chapter. Terrorists are now in charge of Afghanistan.”
Graham said that Biden had turned his back on our Afghan allies and warned it could cause havoc in our diplomatic relations with our other allies.