Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley panned the Biden administration’s Afghanistan withdrawal strategy as a “complete and total surrender” to the Taliban during a Sunday appearance on Face the Nation.
“They are not negotiating with the Taliban. They have completely surrendered to the Taliban. They surrendered Bagram Air Force Base which was a major NATO hub. They surrendered $85 billion worth of equipment and weapons that we should have gotten out of there,” Haley told CBS News’ Major Garrett.
“They have surrendered the American people and actually withdrew our troops before they withdrew the American people. And they have abandoned our Afghan allies to kept people like my husband safe while they were overseas deploying. So, no. There was no negotiating. This was a complete and total surrender and an embarrassing failure,” Haley said.
Haley defended former President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. As part of a deal with the Taliban, the Trump administration pushed the Ashraf Ghani-led Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban soldiers from prison. The Taliban agreed to prevent terrorist groups like al-Qaida from operating in the areas it controlled, but was in violation of that provision of the agreement as early as July 2020. (RELATED: US Signs Peace Deal With Taliban, Will Withdraw All Troops If Taliban Keeps Commitments)
“The truth is under four years of Trump, Afghanistan was safe,” she continued. “We made sure we kept terrorism at bay and that we came from a strengthened position. What has happened in seven months of Biden is we have completely surrendered and humiliated ourselves in the eyes of the world. The thing is, there are times when you have to negotiate with the devil, but you negotiate with the devil from a point of strength,” Haley said.
“You don’t do it from a point of weakness. We literally have no leverage right now with the Taliban. All we’re going to see them do is they’re going to bide time and act like they are going to be nice until Aug. 31 and then all of those women, all of those girls, everything is going to go back to the way it was. You will have sex slaves, child marriages, kids or girls that are no longer allowed in schools.”
Some Afghan women have protested the Taliban’s requirement that they wear burqas, with the terrorist organization reportedly killing one woman for leaving her house without covering up. Zarifa Ghafari, the first female mayor in Afghanistan’s history, told iNews on Aug. 15 that she is “waiting for [the] Taliban to come for people like her” and “kill” her.
Haley emphasized that she was not criticizing the decision to withdraw, however.
“It’s not about soldiers coming out, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.”