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Democratic Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania said she didn’t buy the excuse that President Joe Biden had made to explain the disastrous fall of the Afghanistan government to the Taliban.
Wild made the comments to Erin Burnett on her CNN show Friday.
“I want to tell you that I 100% agree with the President’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. It was a brave and necessary decision that no president in the last ten years was willing to make and I’m not piling on with gratuitous criticism,” she began.
“But I have tremendous concerns about the manner in which the withdrawal took place. We know that we needed to get these Afghan allies that worked so closely with our troops out of the country, and that the SIV process had completely shut down under the Trump administration. That’s one of those cascading failures,” Wild said.
“We know that thousands of Taliban prisoners had been released following the U.S.-Taliban agreement negotiated by Secretary of State Pompeo, over the objections of the Afghan president Ghani. That’s another one of the cascading failures,” she continued.
“So while I support President Biden’s decision to carry out the retrograde from Afghanistan, here’s what I think we needed to do before that happened. We had to get the SIV process rebooted and running efficiently,” said Wild.
“And frankly, we should have started the withdrawal process earlier, months ago, which would have given us the ability and time to get more people out without antagonizing the Taliban because they would have known that we were on our way out!” she continued.
Wild went on to contradict Biden on whether there was any intelligence indicating how fast the Afghanistan government would collapse before the Taliban once the U.S. began withdrawing from the country.
“Lastly, I think there must have been intelligence,” she said.
“I don’t buy that the president had bad intelligence, quite frankly, based on everything I’ve heard from my colleagues on the intel committee. I believe there was intelligence that foretold that the Afghan government and military would quickly fold once we left,” she added.
“I suspect that that intelligence was available far longer than the past eight months,” Wild concluded. “So, that, the cascading failures are not just attributable to the Biden administration, I want to make that clear.”
Wild also promised that Congress would get to the bottom of the disaster in order to avoid similar chaos from erupting again in the future.
Here’s the video of Wild’s comments:
“I 100% agree with the President’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. It was a brave and necessary decision,” s… https://t.co/zqnH84m9c3
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN)1630108405.0