Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy blasted President Joe Biden following the Taliban’s Sunday breach of Kabul, which the senator called the “biggest terrorist victory since 9/11” in a Tuesday statement.
“I am so sorry that all of our American soldiers that fought so valiantly there, had to witness what we all saw. And what we saw was stunning incompetence,” the Louisiana senator said. “President Biden chose to withdraw from Afghanistan, but there’s no reason it had to be so chaotic. We all saw the panic, the fear, the chaos, the abandonment of equipment, the scrambling to destroy unclassified documents and classified documents.”
“Thousands of Americans and our allies trapped behind our Taliban lines, no plan for the refugees. It was hard, and this didn’t have to happen.” (RELATED: ‘We Were So Unprepared’: Chuck Todd Says Afghanistan Withdrawal Makes Biden Look Less Competent)
The Taliban regained control of Afghanistan during the Biden administration’s withdrawal of U.S. troops after being stationed in the Middle Eastern country for 20 years, resulting in the collapse of the U.S.-backed Afghan government. The radical Islamic force reached Kabul on Sunday, which led U.S. Embassy personnel to immediately evacuate while many American citizens remain reportedly trapped behind Taliban checkpoints without the ability to reach the U.S. perimeter.
“He wanted to own 9/11, he wanted to be able to stand up and say ‘I got America out of Afghanistan.’ There was no reason for him to go in such a chaotic, rapid way, but he did. It was the biggest terrorist victory since 9/11,” Kennedy said. “Jihadists who want to hurt this country and its people all over the world are reinvigorated.”
“Our enemies, China and Russia, are laughing. And our veterans are crying and I cried with them,” Kennedy said. “This was humiliating, it was an embarrassment. The president ought to hide his head in a bag.”
The president’s top generals, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, advised Biden that a full withdrawal of troops could lead to instability and pointed to the possibility of potential attacks by the Taliban, the Wall Street Journal reported. Milley advised that a force of 2,500 troops would improve the chances of a stable withdrawal process.
“The military and the Intelligence Community told President Biden that if he withdrew without a plan and too quickly, this was going to happen. But he did it anyway,” Kennedy continued. “Why? I think he made a political decision. First of all, he shouldn’t have told the enemy when he was going to withdraw, duh! But after he did, it became clear to me that what he was doing was making a political statement.”
The Pentagon refused to answer questions Monday related to the Taliban obtaining U.S. weapons and equipment given to the Afghanistan government. Throughout the Taliban’s invasion, footage caught the force seizing a “motherload” of U.S. weaponry and drones, according to the Sun. Photos have recently shown the Taliban carrying U.S. M-4 rifles topped with thermal imagers, France 24 reported.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki spoke to reporters Tuesday and said there are around 11,000 individuals in Afghanistan who “self-identify as American citizens.”