Cassidy: Biden ruined years of success

Published 2:38 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The American people are watching in horror and disbelief at the self-inflicted Afghanistan crisis President Biden created. We now have a situation where our brave armed forces are holding an airbase (in a country which we controlled not long ago) surrounded by a perimeter of Taliban terrorists.

By President Biden’s own admission, there is an “unknown number” of American civilians caught behind enemy lines. He says “we will get them all out.” That is merely a statement without a strategy — because strategy comes from planning which comes from experience and wisdom, none of which the president has demonstrated the ability to master.

Concerning information continues to pour out. For example, we now know President Biden saw a State Department dissent cable saying, “WE NEED TO GET READY FOR THE MAYHEM.” Instead of listening to this intelligence, he turned to what he called a “consensus” to make a devastatingly bad judgment call. Consensus? Consensus of whom?

The president made a series of bad assessments and bad decisions. This is his Saigon moment. It is clear everything he has done over the past two weeks was a lesson in absolute incompetence.

The Taliban is back in control of Kabul, the capital of a country which the U.S. poured so much blood, sweat, and money. Our service men and women saved lives of women and children, protected the vulnerable, and gave the Afghans a generation of relative peace. Now they are being asked to put their lives at risk again to clean up their leaders’ poor planning and ineptitude. I, like the American people, am devastated to witness the Biden administration allow decades of progress and American sacrifice evaporate overnight.

Whether we should still be in Afghanistan is a completely separate issue from the failed planning, poor leadership, and atrocious execution of the president’s withdrawal plan, or lack thereof. In a rush to pull all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, President Biden unceremoniously delivered 20 years of American accomplishment over to our enemies. This Biden administration failure will be felt most by the terrified men and women rushing our airplanes on the tarmac of Kabul International Airport.

This does not diminish the tremendous efforts of our veterans and the real impact they made — they have kept us safe. They should know, despite the lack of leadership coming out of the White House, that they will always have the unwavering support of a grateful American people.

I have every confidence that the American Marines, soldiers and airmen will respond to this crisis as they always have—effectively carrying out their mission, in the face of tremendous adversity, to protect Americans. It is incumbent on Congress to get to the bottom of how the Biden administration failed and ensure accountability for the hundreds of thousands whose lives have been destroyed.

Dr. Bill Cassidy is the senior U.S. Senator from Louisiana.