Rep. Wittman to Newsmax: US Will Regret Leaving Afghanistan (Newsmax/"Spicer & Co.")
By Solange Reyner | Friday, 20 August 2021 08:04 PM
Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., who on Friday announced a bill to establish an Afghanistan withdrawal commission, says the Biden administration will regret leaving Kabul because the U.S. military will no longer have a place to establish counterterrorism efforts.
''We have not been able to achieve any agreements with neighboring countries to be able to operate out of these countries. Therefore, we are large distances away,'' Wittman said Friday on Newsmax’s ''Spicer & Co.''
''We have no place with which to do the operations necessary to be immediate and to have the level of detail that we need,'' he added.
''Remember, we have nobody on the ground in Afghanistan. Human intelligence — out the window. We have nothing on the ground as far as equipment, signal intelligence, gathering information. That’s out the window. So we have none of the things we would have had if we had a presence there.
"We left Bagram Air Base, a place that we could actually secure, and now we’re operating out of Kabul? That just is mind-boggling about how shortsighted that is and being able to transition safely out of Afghanistan. This is all about achieving a political goal. It’s not about doing things strategically and tactically the way you should as a military and how you would withdraw from Afghanistan.''
Wittman, along with Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., on Friday proposed the creation of a national commission to investigate the withdrawal with the aim of helping the nation’s leaders not repeat any strategic errors and ''grow the United States as a nation, an ally and as the leader of the free world,'' according to Wittman.
The commission would have 10 appointed members, including one appointed by Biden, one by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction and the others by House and Senate leaders.
The chaotic exit has left allies frustrated and puzzled.
''I think that what has happened shows that Europe needs to develop this famous 'strategic autonomy' in order to be ready to face challenges that affect us eventually,'' European Union High Rep. Josep Borrell, a Spanish politician who now leads the bloc’s diplomatic corps, told reporters Tuesday.
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