Liz Cheney: Biden Handed Terrorists An Entire Country
Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney appeared on NBC's 'Meet the Press' on Sunday to discuss fallout from President Biden's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
The move has been criticized by many in the Republican party. Senator Barrasso stated that 'Biden is showing the world his incompetence and ineptness," in an interview with Fox News. Now, Cheney is saying something similar, stating that Biden's decision put the power back in the hands of the Taliban, which undercuts everything the US Military has been trying to achieve throughout the past 20 years.
"Our mission in Afghanistan was to deny terrorists a sanctuary, and the Biden decision now to completely withdraw has handed them an entire country," Cheney stated. "[He] has, in fact, ensured, not just the Taliban, but al Qaeda, ISIS, the Haqqani Network -- terrorist organizations that want to attack the United States now have an entire country as a sanctuary from which to do so."
Cheney also said that she believes the Taliban is, in fact, still a threat to the United States, and that the seeds for Biden's decision were sewn with the Trump administration.
"We know the Taliban has never renounced al Qaeda," she said. "This is one of the things that was such an indefensible step by the Trump Administration. When President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo decided that they were going to sign a surrender agreement with the Taliban, decided that they were going to begin to negotiate with the Taliban, we completely excluded the Afghan government from those negotiations. We gave credibility to the Taliban.
"Secretary Pompeo told us that the Taliban was going to renounce al Qaeda. They told us that the Taliban was going to fight terrorists. They forced the Afghan national government -- we did -- to release 5,000 prisoners. So, we completely undercut the Afghan national government, we absolutely emboldened the Taliban. And we know now from public reporting that the moment that agreement was signed, the Taliban went to members of the Afghan national army and said, 'The Americans are leaving you, and you should lay down your arms when the time comes, or we'll kill you and your families.' So, that led directly to the catastrophe that we're seeing today."
Though Cheney said the Trump Administration was partially responsible, she made it clear that it is the choices President Biden made that have resulted in the current crisis in Afghanistan.
"President Biden is the President of the United States and he's had no problem in reversing course on other things," Cheney said. "He decided he's going to rejoin the JCPOA, he decided he’s going to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. He's reversed a number of decisions of the Trump Administration. So, in this circumstance where, absolutely, the U.S. national security requirement was to maintain a presence on the ground, to help to, frankly, embolden and train the Afghans who were bearing the brunt of this and fighting for us.
"President Biden ignored the advice of his military leadership and decided instead he's going to withdraw. All you have to do is look at what is unfolding today, look at that interview we just heard. The fact that we're now somehow relying on the Taliban to protect Americans -- and the White House is denying what we know is happening on the ground, which is that Americans are being beaten, they’re being prevented from getting to the gates of the airport, and they are probably being held hostage. "
Cheney also alluded to the idea that what happened on September 11, 2001 could, in fact, happen again and she emphasized the importance of having some kind of military presence in Afghanistan.
"We needed to maintain a presence on the ground," she said. "3,500 forces, counterterrorism operations, counterintelligence operations -- that allowed us to have the kind of assurance that the Taliban would not, in fact, take over as they have done and create now a brand-new safe haven. Again, it's not just the Taliban. It's the Haqqani Network, it's al Qaeda, you've got ISIS. You have the very groups, particularly al Qaeda, that attacked us 20 years ago from bases in Afghanistan, now back into a position where they can do the same again."
Many critics of the President, including Cheney, argue that his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan also make the United States look weaker to allies.
"If you look at where we are today and you look at the damage this decision has done -- it's not just damage in Afghanistan, it's damage globally for the United States," she stated. "Look what the members of the British Parliament have been saying about us over the course of the last week. Look at what our NATO allies are saying about us. The arrangements they're now making, frankly, in some cases, excluding us. We have to as a nation recognize evil in the world. When you see mothers standing outside those gates handing their babies off, that's because they know the Taliban is evil. And as Americans, we have to say we must fight that and defend ourselves against future attacks."
Video of Cheney's interview can be seen below: