Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonIs the Navy totally at sea? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - House debt vote today; Biden struggles to unite Arkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats MORE (R-Ark.) called on President BidenJoe BidenRand Paul calls for Fauci's firing over 'lack of judgment' Dems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Six big off-year elections you might be missing MORE to “destroy every Taliban fighter” near Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, until U.S. personnel are safe.
“The fiasco in Afghanistan wasn’t just predictable, it was predicted. Joe Biden’s ill-planned retreat has now humiliated America and put at risk thousands of Americans left in Kabul,” Cotton said in a statement Saturday.
“At a minimum, President Biden must unleash American air power to destroy every Taliban fighter in the vicinity of Kabul until we can save our fellow Americans. Anything less will further confirm Joe Biden’s impotence to the world,” Cotton added.
The Taliban has made signifiant military gains in the past week, overtaking several of the country's largest cities from the Afghan government amid a withdrawal of U.S. troops. The offensive from the insurgent group has sparked international concern, and U.S. officials and lawmakers worry that a takeover of Kabul is around the corner.
Biden ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region earlier this year to be completed before the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Cotton's criticism of the president's decision echoes that of his GOP colleagues including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case MORE (R-S.C.) who warned of a takeover from the Taliban.
"Afghanistan is careening toward a massive, predictable, and preventable disaster. And the Administration’s surreal efforts to defend President Biden’s reckless policy are frankly humiliating," McConnell said in a statement on Thursday.
Previously, Biden said a takeover by the Taliban was "highly unlikely."
Former President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE has similarly weighed in on the situation.
“What a disgrace it will be when the Taliban raises their flag over America’s Embassy in Kabul,” former President Donald Trump said in a statement Saturday. “This is complete failure through weakness, incompetence, and total strategic incoherence.”
Biden said in a statement Saturday he has warned the Taliban there would be a “swift and strong US military response” if they put U.S. personnel in danger on the ground.
Biden also outlined plans to get U.S. personnel out of the country and authorized 5,000 troops to execute help in the evacuation.
Speaker of the House Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Sunday shows - Democrats' spending plan in the spotlight Pelosi won't say if she'll run for reelection in 2022 MORE (D-Calif.) supported Biden’s move Saturday, but added that women need to be considered in Afghanistan's future.
“Any political settlement that the Afghans pursue to avert bloodshed must include having women at the table. The fate of women and girls in Afghanistan is critical to the future of Afghanistan. As we strive to assist women, we must recognize that their voices are important, and all must listen to them for solutions, respectful of their culture,” Pelosi stated.