Menendez 'disappointed' in Biden administration over Afghanistan pullout

Menendez 'disappointed' in Biden administration over Afghanistan pullout
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezOvernight Defense & National Security — Blinken heads to the hot seat Blinken to testify before Senate panel next week on Afghanistan Overnight Health Care — FDA vaccine scientists depart amid booster drama MORE (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement on Tuesday criticizing President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE, as well as his predecessors, for the results of the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Menendez slammed former President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE for making a deal with the Taliban and Biden for going through with the plan he says was set up by Trump.

“The wholly inadequate agreement the Trump administration made with the Taliban did not get commitments for the Taliban to break ties with Al Qaeda, nor did it account for the day after our withdrawal,” Menedez stated.

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“In implementing this flawed plan, I am disappointed that the Biden administration clearly did not accurately assess the implications of a rapid U.S. withdrawal. We are now witnessing the horrifying results of many years of policy and intelligence failures,” he added.

Biden has been criticized by Republicans and Democrats for the way the U.S. is withdrawing from Afghanistan, as thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies are stuck in a country now ruled by the Taliban.

Menedez said there were “clear policy execution and intelligence failures” and called for the evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies, especially women and civil society activists that the Taliban would target.

“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will continue fulfilling its oversight role with a hearing on U.S. policy towards Afghanistan, including the Trump administration’s flawed negotiations with Taliban, and the Biden administration’s flawed execution of the U.S. withdrawal,” Menedez stated.

He says the committee wants to know why the Afghan military fell so quickly and the response the international community will have to the fall of Afghanistan and the crisis that will occur “under a Taliban led-regime.”

“The Committee will seek a full accounting for these shortcomings as well as assess why the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces collapsed so quickly. Congress was told repeatedly that the Afghan Defense and Security Forces were up to the task, that it had the troops, equipment and willingness to fight. To see this army dissolve so quickly after billions of dollars in U.S. support is astounding,” he said.