Senator Ben Sasse amplifies his “damn deadline” message | Regional government
But he said it was Biden’s fault for sticking to the deal and then failing to bring out US citizens and Afghan allies before the sudden collapse of the Afghan government and army.
“A full withdrawal has always been a bad option,” Sasse said. “We have been on a bad track for 18 months. (The Taliban) are not trustworthy. These are people who don’t just want to kill their own people and oppress women and girls, they are ready to harbor certain terrorist groups. “
UN center tries to extract Afghans linked to its Kabul office
He would have preferred the United States to maintain a long-term presence in Afghanistan at Bagram Air Base, about 40 kilometers from Kabul, the hub of American operations during nearly 20 years of occupation.
“The decision to drop Bagram has always been a crazy idea,” said Sasse. “It was a really useful asset to have in western China.”
Now he fears for the safety of up to 1,500 US citizens who are still in Afghanistan, according to the State Department. He fears they will be stranded there if they fail to get through Taliban checkpoints and reach Kabul airport to board an evacuation flight.
“(The administration) put itself in a situation where we were dependent on the ‘goodwill’ – scary quotes – of the Taliban,” Sasse said. “The Taliban think they have the momentum and they can dictate the terms.”
At the same time, he said, Taliban officials have set up an intimidating network of checkpoints on the way to the airport.