US Republican lawmakers have accused President Joe Biden of being dishonest and delusional about last month's full withdrawal of the American military forces from Afghanistan, calling his handling of the situation an “unmitigated disaster".
During a second day of the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, Republican senator Mike Rogers said on Wednesday he fears “the president may be delusional.’
The top Republican on the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee called the handling of the situation an "unmitigated disaster," which “will go down in history as one of the greatest failures of American leadership.’
Top Pentagon officials stated the day earlier that they personally believed it would be a mistake to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan.
Head of US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie testified before the senate that he “recommended that we maintain 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, and I also recommended earlier in the fall of 2020 that we maintain 4,500 at that time.”
“I also have a view that the withdrawal of those forces would lead inevitably to the collapse of the Afghan military forces and eventually the Afghan government."
In October 2001, the United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan. The proclaimed rationale was “war on terror.” The Taliban’s rule in the country ended as a result, but the militant group returned to power on August 15, in the midst of the United States’ chaotic withdrawal.
Biden pulled out all foreign forces from the country on August 31, two weeks after the country fell to the Taliban.
The Democratic president has faced the biggest crisis of his presidency over the decision, which he has repeatedly defended.
During the hearing on Tuesday, Republican Joe Wilson called for the resignation of the Democratic president.
General Milley admits full withdrawal was ‘strategic failure’
Other Republicans directed their anger at the Joint Chief of Staff General Mark Milley, who acknowledged that withdrawing to zero was a "strategic failure.”
Milley assessed the withdrawal as a “logistical success but a strategic failure.”
“It is obvious the war in Afghanistan did not end on the terms we wanted,” he said.
“I have no illusions who we are dealing with,” Milley said referring to the Taliban. “It remains to be seen whether or not the Taliban can consolidate power, or if the country will further fracture into civil war."
Afghan pullout ‘developed by child’s mind’
Former US president Donald Trump reacted to the senate hearing on Tuesday, saying the “horrible” withdrawal from Afghanistan was “developed by a child’s mind and only the Biden Administration is responsible for it.”
“The botched and embarrassingly incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan had nothing to do with past Administrations or things that happened ‘from 20 years ago," Trump said.
He said that “Biden and Milley removed the Military in one of the dumbest military moves in history, and it all began. So sad for our Nation!”
Biden has formerly said his hands were tied by a cease-fire agreement forged by the Trump administration in February 2020 with the Taliban.
Under the deal, Washington was obliged to pull out all of its forces from Afghanistan by the end of May 2021. Biden, however, missed the deadline.
In an immediate reactant to the withdrawal, Trump said last month that he “wanted to get out by May 1, and when they [the Taliban] violated conditions, we bombed and did a lot of things.”
The former president claimed at the time that what America sees now “never would have happened” during his tenure.
The war in Afghanistan has resulted in the death of 2,324 US military personnel, 4,007 US contractors and 46,319 Afghan civilians, according to the Cost of War Project at Brown University.