US congressman: Fall of Kabul ‘epic failure of Biden's foreign policy’
Republican Congressman Steve Scalise has said the fall of Kabul to the Taliban is US President Joe Biden’s “Saigon moment,” calling it an “an epic failure of President Biden's foreign policy.”
Scalise was referring to the hasty evacuation of remaining US troops from Vietnam when the city of Saigon fell two years after former American President Richard Nixon withdrew American forces from the country.
The US House of Representatives Minority Whip made the remarks in an interview with CBS News on Sunday, where he also said Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had briefed members of the House of the situation in Afghanistan.
However, the Louisiana Republican said certain things could not be discussed due to the real-time nature of events as they unfolded in Afghanistan.
"It's a very dire situation when you see the United States Embassy being evacuated. In fact, you just had President Biden a few days ago saying you wouldn't see helicopters evacuating the embassy like Saigon, and yet here we are. This is President Biden's Saigon moment and unfortunately it was very predictable," Scalise said.
"It seems like many in President Biden's intelligence community got this devastatingly wrong and I think a lot of questions will be asked later about why just weeks ago they were saying something completely different than what we're seeing on the ground today and in Afghanistan," he added.
Biden has appeared to put some blame on former Republican President Donald Trump who had reached an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw American troops prior to leaving office.
Commenting on this, Scalise said, “You're seeing a lot of finger-pointing and blaming ... You know, there used to be a saying that the buck stops here on the president's desk to blame everybody else. But look, President Trump had an agreement in place, that was conditions-based and those conditions were not met in fact many of the conditions included that the Taliban wouldn't overtake the cities that they have now overtaken under President Biden's leadership.”
Scalise said the ease with which the Taliban was able to overtake much of Afghanistan is “an epic failure of President Biden's foreign policy.”