Rep. Mike Turner to Newsmax: Afghanistan ‘A Mess of Unbelievable Proportion’

Rep. Mike Turner to Newsmax: Afghanistan 'A Mess of Unbelievable Proportion' (Newsmax/"American Agenda")

By Charles Kim | Friday, 20 August 2021 06:16 PM

House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, told Newsmax Friday that the situation in Afghanistan was ''a mess of unbelievable proportion.''

''This just really is a mess of just unbelievable proportion,'' Turner said on ''American Agenda'' Friday. ''I also served in the Armed Services Committee. I've been in and out of Afghanistan, and of course, have been briefed on this subject matter over the last 20 years, both in public sessions from our military leaders, and intel briefings. What's disingenuous about what President (Joe Biden) is saying this was inevitable, 'but no one told me this would happen.'''

Turner said it is frustrating watching the mixed messaging coming out of the White House when it seems as if they had no plan about dealing with withdrawing from Afghanistan after 20 years.

''(The administration) said they were going to exit, but they had no plan. They have no strategy. They still have no strategy,'' Turner said. ''They're saying people can't get to the airport, but everyone should go to the airport. This is so many mixed messages.''

In a televised address Friday, Biden said 6,000 troops ordered to Afghanistan to rein in the chaos caused by Taliban forces taking over the country last week amid the drawdown of U.S. troops, had arrived and secured the international airport in the capital city of Kabul. It fell to the Taliban last Sunday, causing a chaotic exodus of Americans, third-country nationals, and refugees, trying to get flights out.

According to Biden, 13,000 people have been evacuated since Sunday, but he said he does not have a firm number of the Americans still trying to flee.

''There appears to be a complete lack of understanding from the White House that this was created by the White House, and that they need to step up and take greater action or it's going to get just worse,'' Turner said.

Answering a reporter's question about the advice Biden received prior to the pullout, and the likelihood the Taliban would quickly take over the country again, Biden said he took ''the consensus opinion'' from several advising sources about how fast a Taliban takeover would likely happen.

''I get all kinds of cables, all kinds of advice, if you notice, that ranged from this group saying that it would fall, to others saying it wouldn't happen for a long time and they [would] be able to sustain themselves through the end of the year,'' Biden said. ''I took the consensus opinion. The consensus opinion was that, in fact, it would not occur if it occurred until later in the year. So, it was my decision.''

Turner said the rapid pullout caused much of the chaos because the Afghan military, which relied on the U.S. forces' chain of command, was not notified about how fast the U.S. forces were leaving, undermining the Afghan military's ability to fend for itself against the Taliban's onslaught.

''The United States had unbelievable damage as a result of this. Turning our backs on our allies, bringing down the Afghan support, destabilizing the (Afghan) government,'' Turner said. "The threat, the future threat that we're going to have from Al Qaeda and ISIS, this shows only weakness. It shows no planning. It shows a government and chaos. That's ours, not just Afghanistan.''

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