During a hearing on the Biden administration’s plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, raised concerns about the US invasion and subsequent withdrawal from Afghanistan. He emphasized the significant defeat the US faced in its two-decade-long presence in the country, which concluded with the withdrawal of troops in August 2021.
McCaul expressed his discontent with the decision to reduce the number of troops to just 650, describing it as “crazy.” He highlighted the release of “12,000 prisoners” from Bagram prison, including dangerous individuals like “suicide bombers” and members of ISIS-K, which added to the complexity of the situation.
The Chairman also corroborated earlier Pentagon reports, stating that the US forces left behind “$7 billion worth of equipment” in Afghanistan. He expressed concerns that this abandoned equipment could potentially fall into the hands of adversaries and terrorist nations as it was being sold to other agents.
Bagram, the central hub of US operations in Afghanistan, was of significant importance during the US presence in the country.
McCaul strongly criticized what he termed as “unconditional withdrawal” from Afghanistan, characterizing it as a surrender to the Taliban, who now control the nation. He raised apprehensions about China’s growing interests in Afghanistan, particularly with regard to accessing valuable resources like lithium.
The Chairman’s remarks shed light on the complexity and implications of the US’s actions in Afghanistan and underscored the need for careful consideration of the consequences of troop withdrawal and the aftermath of the US presence in the region.