McConnell says US has 'little or no leverage' to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies

McConnell says US has 'little or no leverage' to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 Hoyer: Democrats 'committed' to Oct. 31 timeline for Biden's agenda MORE (R-Ky.) on Sunday said the U.S. has "little or no leverage" to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies from Afghanistan after U.S. troops withdraw on Aug. 31.

“We have little or no leverage to get our people out or our allies,” McConnell told host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace on Colin Powell: He was 'very protective' of his reputation Liz Cheney is the Margaret Chase Smith of our time Sunday shows - Buttigieg warns supply chain issues could stretch to next year MORE on “Fox News Sunday.”

McConnell’s comments came after national security adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanBiden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — World leaders call for enhanced cooperation to fight wave of ransomware attacks White House weighing steps to address gas shortages MORE told Wallace that the U.S. has “substantial leverage” to ensure American citizens and others can be safely evacuated from the country.

McConnell also raised concerns regarding American citizens and Afghan allies who choose to remain in the region after President BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE’s deadline, saying those individuals will become “either a potential victim or hostage.”

“Remember, the Taliban love taking hostages. They've done this before. It puts us in an extraordinarily difficult position,” he said.

He noted the difficulty the U.S. would have in extracting those individuals once U.S. forces leave, noting the landlocked nature of the country.

“Remember, Afghanistan is landlocked. There's only one way in by air and one way out by air. We don't have sort of friends in the neighborhood that would provide us the kind of intelligence that we would normally get, for example, in Syria or in Africa or in Yemen,” he said.

“It's going to be extremely difficult. We have very, very little leverage to extract additional Americans or Afghan allies from this landlocked country,” he added.

McConnell also slammed Biden's decision to pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan, calling it "one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history."