Rep. Bacon to Newsmax: Biden Fled Afghanistan to Meet a Campaign Promise Rep. Don Bacon. (Drew Angerer/Getty)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 23 August 2021 11:54 AM
President Joe Biden went forward with the quick military withdrawal from Afghanistan to meet a campaign promise and the situation created the "worst security debacle in our generation," Rep. Don Bacon, a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general, told Newsmax Monday.
"It's been a disaster and the DOD (Department of Defense) and the intelligence community did advise against this rapid withdrawal of our forces," the Nebraska Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report."
Bacon was responding to comments from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who said there was no way to predict the Taliban would have taken control of Afghanistan in just 11 days.
"We may not have known it was 11 days, two weeks, a month," said Bacon. "Either way, it's a disaster. And you're right. We had folks on the ground in Kabul that recommended against the saying. Hey, this. Afghan forces were likely to collapse, so the intelligence was there."
The quick fall has also been blamed on the Afghan military's failure to fight, but Bacon said that also must be put into perspective.
"They were reliant on our airpower," Bacon said.
"We had great airpower at Bagram airfield, Kandahar, and within minutes we could get bombs on the Taliban…the Afghan air force was fairly effective, but they used our mechanics. We pulled our mechanics out amid this rapid retreat and most of our air forces, so these Afghan forces, who were used to having airpower, did not have it."
The entire situation is marked by "terrible planning," he added, and now, "our allies are alienated because we did not coordinate with them, and our adversaries are emboldened."
And with Biden, "we have a president who appears weak," said Bacon.
Austin and many others in the Biden administration have put the blame for Afghanistan on the Trump administration, but Bacon said that's because the current leadership does not have the ability to take responsibility or to be accountable.
"They do not believe in President (Harry) Truman's adage of the buck stops here," said Bacon. "They point their fingers everywhere else."
He added that he was also critical of former President Donald Trump's negotiations on Afghanistan, as that country's own government wasn't included by the Taliban was.
"I don't think you can trust the Taliban, but we'll give this with President Trump, (his plan) was conditions-based," said Bacon. "Biden had the choice about how he was going to do this or whether he's going to do it, and he did it and this has been a complete failure. He owns it."