McConnell pushes Biden to 'hammer' Taliban with airstrikes as Afghanistan spirals

McConnell and other GOP figures have accused the Biden administration of botching a planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in recent days. In a scathing statement, the Kentucky senator said the situation in Afghanistan was a “debacle” that was prompting a humanitarian crisis.

“With that said, it is not too late to prevent the Taliban from overrunning Kabul,” McConnell said in a statement. “The Administration should move quickly to hammer Taliban advances with airstrikes, provide critical support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) defending the capital, and prevent the seemingly imminent fall of the city.”


The Pentagon dispatched troops to evacuate some staffers from the U.S. embassy in Kabul as Taliban insurgents made a stunning advance toward the capital. The Taliban now controls half of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals and more than two-thirds of the country’s territory.

McConnell said urgent action to assist Afghan security forces was necessary to avoid a larger crisis.

“If they fail to do so, the security threat to the United States will assuredly grow and the humanitarian cost to innocent Afghans will be catastrophic,” McConnell said.

The White House said Biden met with top Cabinet officials, including Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan “about the ongoing efforts to safely drawdown the civilian footprint in Afghanistan.”

Earlier this week, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. military would “continue to support” Afghan forces with airstrikes and other aid “where and when feasible, understanding that it’s not always going to be feasible.”

Biden has set an Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw most U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Administration officials are adamant the president does not regret his decision to bring troops home.

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