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‘Embarrassment Of A Superpower Laid Low’: Mitch McConnell Blasts Biden’s ‘Monumental Collapse’ In Afghanistan
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. The central pieces of Biden's $4.1 trillion economic agenda are now moving through Congress on a precarious two-track path that's further complicated by a September showdown over the debt ceiling. Photographer: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg
Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) slammed President Joe Biden Sunday evening after the Afghan government collapsed as the United States evacuated its forces from the country.

McConnell said that the ongoing chaos in Afghanistan is “the embarrassment of a superpower laid low.” Biden has largely been absent in recent days as the Taliban blitzed across Afghanistan, conquering multiple major cities including the nation’s capital of Kabul over the weekend. McConnell stated:

The Biden Administration’s botched exit from Afghanistan including the frantic evacuation of Americans and vulnerable Afghans from Kabul is a shameful failure of American leadership.

The rapid advance of the Taliban was expected after the US abandonment of Afghan security forces. The plight of innocent Afghans was predicted, and the challenges of safely evacuating US personnel and innocent Afghans have been magnified by our inexplicable withdrawal from Bagram Air Base. And the likelihood that Al Qaeda will return to plot attacks from Afghanistan is growing.

Everyone saw this coming except the President, who publicly and confidently dismissed these threats just a few weeks ago.  The strategic, humanitarian, and moral consequences of this self-inflicted wound will hurt our country and distract from other challenges for years to come.

America’s two-decade involvement in Afghanistan has had many authors. So have the strategic missteps made along the way. I have never hesitated to express myself candidly when leaders of either party threatened to put politics ahead of reality on the ground.  But as the monumental collapse our own experts predicted unfolds in Kabul today, responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of our current Commander-in-Chief.

A proud superpower has been reduced to hoping the Taliban will not interfere with our efforts to flee Afghanistan. God knows what fate awaits vulnerable Afghans who cannot make it to Kabul to board one of the final flights out. Terrorists and major competitors like China are watching the embarrassment of a superpower laid low.

It did not have to happen this way. The United States had the capacity to avoid this disaster. We still have the capacity to dampen its effects, but without a presence on the ground or local partners, defending the homeland from a resurgent al Qaeda will be far more difficult.

Biden is currently at Camp David, the presidential retreat, where he traveled to last week on vacation. While Biden issued a statement and the White House sent out a picture of Biden meeting with top officials over a video conference call, the president has yet to make any direct address on the situation in Afghanistan or take questions from reporters since the Taliban seized control of large swaths of the country last week.

In Kabul, the United States is working to evacuate its embassy personnel from the city’s airport. The U.S. abandoned its embassy on Sunday as the Taliban entered Kabul and took control of the country’s seats of power. The Kabul airport has descended into chaos as Afghans break through airport barriers in attempts to board planes out of the country. Reports of gunfire have also erupted around the airport.

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