Sen. Dan Sullivan warned U.S. military leaders that Russia and China could test American resolve after the chaotic exit of forces from Afghanistan and terrorist attack that killed 13 troops.
Sullivan, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter on Aug. 30 to top security leaders about the U.S. actions. He also has called for hearings to learn how decisions were made and who is accountable for them.
Describing the exit as “hasty, chaotic and botched,” Sullivan wrote that the U.S. is “more vulnerable to international terrorism than at any time since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”
He demanded to know why roughly 200 Americans were left behind in the military evacuation.
“These Americans, forsaken by President Biden, are now trapped behind enemy lines, dependent on the Taliban’s good graces to get out of Afghanistan,” Sullivan wrote in the letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
Sullivan predicted long-term consequences to U.S. foreign policy.
On social media, he posted: “I am concerned our country’s adversaries — like China and Russia — will test the Biden administration in the aftermath of the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. If that happens, the administration had better be ready and they’d better be strong.”
Sen. Murkowski: ‘Lasting negative impacts’
Sen. Lisa Murkowski voiced concerns about “the lasting negative impacts this withdrawal will have. All we have to do is look at the situation over the past two weeks as proof.”
Militants swarmed the Kabul airport after the last U.S. troops left on Aug. 31. Images on social media and by the global press showed Taliban fighters posing next to U.S. weapons and vehicles left behind.
A Getty Images photo Thursday showed a yellow helicopter with a black-and-white Taliban flag flying over Kandahar and a fighter waving to the crowds below.
Murkowski accused the Biden administration of putting “campaign promises” and “self-imposed deadlines” over American lives and core interests.
“There are a number of questions that need to be answered,” she said. “Chief among those is how we evacuate American citizens who are still stranded and ensure security for the many more fleeing persecution — particularly Afghan women and girls.”