The unraveling of the leadership in Afghanistan is going to "stain" the Joe Biden presidency and leave "blood on his hands," Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said Sunday.
"I think it's an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions," McCaul, the ranking member on the House Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN's "State of the Union."
"And I think the president – this is going to be a stain on this president and his presidency. And I think he's going to have blood on his hands for what they did."
Taliban insurgents are "awaiting a peaceful transfer of Kabul city," after taking control of much of Afghanistan as Biden is executing the troops withdrawal to mark an end to the longest continuous war in American history.
"They totally blew this one," McCaul added to host Jake Tapper. "They completely underestimated the strength of the Taliban. And Jake, they didn't listen to the intelligence community, because every time I got an I.C. briefing assessment, it was probably the grimmest assessment I have ever heard on Afghanistan.
"And yet they – the State Department, Secretary [Antony] Blinken, the politicos in the White House wanted to paint this rosy picture that somehow these peace talks in Doha were going to deliver a rabbit out of the hat at the 11th hour."
While some anti-Trump Republicans in the House and Senate are blasting former President Donald Trump's planned withdrawal in Afghanistan, the execution of the plan is solely on the shoulders of Biden and his administration, McCaul said.
"For President Biden to try to throw all this on the former administration is a lack of responsibility and accountability," McCaul continued. "He owns this, absolutely, 100%. He owns it. He made the decision, and what's worse, Jake, is when you and I started to get engaged on this, once he made the decision, he could have done certain things.
"He could have planned for it. He could have had a strategy for this.
"But, instead, they had no strategy. And now they're knocking on the doorstep of Kabul. The noose is tightening around the Kabul neck. And there's still no strategy, other than race to the airport and evacuate as many people as you can. This is a really sad day, not only for America, but for the Afghan people, the women left behind, and I would say our international standing in the world.
"We look so weak. And it's so embarrassing."
McCaul agreed with Tapper's speculation China is going to move in to take the place of the U.S. in the vacuum of Afghanistan, working with the Taliban to ultimately enrich the Chinese Community Party.
"You're right, China hosted the Taliban in China, saying they would call them the legitimate government," McCaul continued. "Don't think for a minute now the Chinese are not going to go into Afghanistan, get the rare earth minerals, and put a base of operations in Afghanistan.
"We have negotiated out of weakness here. And the Taliban – I'm sorry – our foreign adversaries are emboldened, that being Russia, China, Iran."
Taliban insurgents entered Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Sunday and an official said President Ashraf Ghani had left the city for Tajikistan, capping the militants' lightning push for power.
A senior Afghan Interior Ministry official said Ghani had left for Tajikistan. Asked for comment, the president's office it "cannot say anything about Ashraf Ghani's movement for security reasons."
The Trump administration attempted to sign a peace deal with the Taliban, McCaul said, as a necessary evil.
"I think their strategy was they knew that a transitional government would have to necessarily include the Taliban," McCaul concluded, but noting now the Taliban is going to propagandize the defeat of the U.S. in the country.
"The consequences from a national security standpoint are severe, because now they can say they defeated the United States in Afghanistan, the infidel, just like they defeated the Soviet Union.
"This will have long term-ramifications."
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