It was a "great mistake" for the United States to remain in a country like Afghanistan and try to fix its problems, and troops should have been removed after Osama bin Laden was found and killed, former Rep. Barney Frank said on Newsmax, commenting while the news was growing about the deadly explosion at the Kabul airport.
"If one country attacks another, we should go to their defense in some cases, but trying to fix a country that's facing internal problems is almost certainly beyond our ability," the Massachusetts Democrat said on Newsmax's "National Report."
He added that he did vote for troops to go into Afghanistan in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks, but "once we got Osama bin Laden, we should have gotten out" and he agrees with former President Donald Trump's call last year to bring out the troops.
"(President) Joe Biden has accepted that wisdom, but how it's executed is a different issue," said Frank. "This effort to go in and fix a country that has its own serious internal problems, not externally caused, we did a great mistake."
He also said he thinks the current administration has been too focused on making sure nobody slipped through in the evacuation who shouldn't and that there may have been thousands more who should have left Afghanistan that haven't been able to.
Meanwhile, Frank said he doesn't know how Thursday's bombing could have been avoided, given the crowds trying to leave.
"Here are people who don't want us to be able to facilitate people leaving," said Frank. "We have an obligation, in many cases, to help people leave, whether it's Americans or people who work with us, and the only thing I can think about is if you've got a suicide bomber ... say no crowds at the airport, which would allow them to achieve their objectives."
Frank also defended Reps. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., and Seth Moulton, D-Mass, after they were slammed by the White House and the Pentagon for making an unauthorized trip to Kabul this week.
"The reason the Pentagon objected (was because) they don't want the facts to come out, and that's common with the administration," he said. "Obviously, it's not going well. The question for me is what could have been done to avoid it, and more importantly, what can be done to avoid this in the future."
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