Former Sen. Joe Lieberman Blasts Biden's Afghanistan Withdrawal
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, right, speaks with a reporter on June 22, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. (Alex Brandon/AP)
By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 01 September 2021 08:55 PM
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said Wednesday that President Joe Biden has been ''wrong about Afghanistan'' for a long time and that he was ''very disappointed'' in the way Biden handled the situation.
''I think the president has been wrong about Afghanistan for quite a long time, because he's been wanting to withdraw our troops,'' Lieberman, who was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000, told Fox News Radio's ''The Brian Kilmeade Show'' on Wednesday. ''It's just tragic and totally unnecessary.''
Liberman said that turning the country over to the Taliban is making the situation more dangerous than it was before the U.S. decided to leave.
The Taliban are a ''radical, Islamist, terrorist group, and they are going to welcome other radical, Islamist, terrorist groups to Afghanistan who will aim to strike us from there, as al-Qaida did on 9/11,'' he said.
U.S. forces left the country after 20 years of war Tuesday following a chaotic two weeks of evacuations from the Kabul airport.
Taliban forces recaptured Afghanistan in 10 days, culminating with Kabul on Aug. 14, causing a mass exodus of U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and Afghan refugees desperately trying to get to the airport to find a way to leave the country.
As of Wednesday, State Department Undersecretary Victoria Nuland said there were still about 100 to 200 Americans that they knew of in the country, as well as an unknown number of green card and special visa holders who also wanted to leave.
In a speech from the White House on Tuesday, Biden said he made the decision to completely pull out of Afghanistan by Aug. 31 to end the ''forever war,'' and said his civilian and military advisers all agreed it was the right decision.
Lieberman disagreed, however, saying that the United States had won the war in Afghanistan in 2011 with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's death, and had since ''reached a balance'' keeping the peace there.
''We should have left it alone,'' he said.
''Truth is, we had not lost an American soldier since February of 2020 until the 13 were tragically killed by the terrorists as … a consequence of the decision to withdraw and the botched evacuation plan, so yeah, I'm disappointed,'' said Lieberman, who also opposed President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw.
''And I think we're all going to pay for it — first of all, the people in Afghanistan.''