House Republicans slammed US President Joe Biden during a conference call after the Thursday bombings in Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul,
New York Post reported
, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Comments on presidential policy in Afghanistan were unflattering, with House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Michael McCaul reportedly calling Biden’s move to continue to pull US troops out of the Middle Eastern nation the “worst presidential foreign policy decision in my lifetime and an unconditional surrender to the Taliban*”.
McCaul also lashed out at the idea of viewing 31 August as a “red line” for all foreign troops to be withdrawn from the country, declaring, according to The Post, that doing so is “an outright disgrace”.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also offered his grievances, suggesting that US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reconvene the House back into session so that all lawmakers are briefed on the situation in Afghanistan – something that is not scheduled to happen until 20 September, with Pelosi dismissing the calls to recall members as “empty stunts”.
“[I] promise you there is going to be a reckoning,” McCarthy told Biden, according to The Post. “Every option is on the table.”
The Minority leader did not offer support for the resignation of senior administration members or a Biden impeachment. According to the report, such calls, in part, were voiced by GOP Representative Tony Gonzales.
A Republican source told the New York Post that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley had informed lawmakers that while the military is trying to get all its members out of the country, it would be impossible to get all American citizens out of Afghanistan by 31 August – a date set by the Taliban as a “red line” for the complete pullout of foreign troops from the country.
The need to do so, however, was underlined by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who reportedly said that Washington’s No. 1 priority “is to get all Americans and all of our allies out of Afghanistan”, and by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who also stressed that “The America First agenda means we get our partners out also”.
REUTERS / US MARINES
Biden Under Fire
Despite the US president’s acknowledgment of his “full responsibility” for the situation in Afghanistan and his pledge to “hunt down” those who are responsible for the deadly bombings in Kabul, Biden still faces a wave of bipartisan criticism for his actions in the country, from US House members who entered Kabul without authorization to visit the ongoing evacuation to former US President Donald Trump.
The latter called the Kabul attacks “a tragedy” that would “never happen” if he was president, also ripping Biden for what he described as
providing the Taliban with a “kill list”
of Afghan nationals who helped the United States. According to former State Secretary Mike Pompeo, the ex-president viewed the US withdrawal from Afghanistan differently, and had a so-called “conditions-based withdrawal plan”,
as he put it
In acknowledging responsibility for the situation in Afghanistan, Biden still observed that the Trump administration penned the original withdrawal agreement with the Taliban that began the process.
On Saturday, POTUS 46 said that the Friday US airstrike, which, according to CENTCOM, targeted a Daesh-K* planner, was not the last. Biden also said that
more terrorist attacks in Kabul were “highly likely”
over the next 24-36 hours.
*The Taliban and Daesh-K are terrorist groups outlawed in Russia and many other countries