Republican Sen. Mitt Romney says that both the Trump and Biden administrations are to blame for the crisis in Afghanistan.
His remarks come after a suicide bombing Thursday resulted in the deaths of 13 American service members and at least 170 others at the Kabul airport amid the chaotic evacuation efforts by the US following the Taliban’s takeover of the war-torn country.
Two explosions rattled the area outside the airport in the Afghan capital, killing 12 US Marines and one Navy medic and injured 18 other US service members.
Following the attacks, Daesh's Amaq News Agency said on its Telegram channel that the terror group was behind the explosions.
"Leaving Americans behind and leaving our Afghan friends behind who've worked with us would put upon us and will put upon us a moral stain," Romney said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union”.
“And this is the result of very ineffective decisions, terrible decisions made by the prior administration and by the current administration. This did not have to happen. It was -- it was preventable,” he added.
Romney pointed to former President Donald Trump’s agreement with the Taliban, freeing 5,000 Daesh members and Taliban fighters from an Afghan prison as well as Biden’s decision to close Bagram Air Base as contributing to the current crisis.
“So, right now, you have to ask, OK, what's the action we can take at this very last minute which is most likely to get most Americans and most of our friends out of Afghanistan? That's a decision that the commanders on the ground are going to have to make,” Romney said. “But the reality is, the fact that we're in this position is the result of bad decisions made by two administrations.”
The Taliban are poised to run Afghanistan again 20 years after they were removed from power by American forces following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and removed the Taliban from power. American forces occupied the country for about two decades on the pretext of fighting against the Taliban. But as the US forces left Afghanistan, the Taliban stormed into Kabul, weakened by continued foreign occupation.