National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan admitted Tuesday that the administration does not yet have a “complete picture” on the location of American defense equipment abandoned in Afghanistan.
“We don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone,” the Biden adviser said. “But certainly, a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban, and, obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.”
“The president did not think it was inevitable that the Taliban were going to take control of Afghanistan,” Sullivan said. “He thought the Afghan national security forces could step up and fight because we spent 20 years, tens of billions of dollars, training them, giving them the best equipment, giving them support of U.S. forces for 20 years.”
“When push came to shove, they decided not to step up and fight for their country,” Sullivan concluded.
Rep. Mike Waltz ripped the withdrawal Sunday night, saying the Taliban “have access to massive caches of heavy weaponry, artillery, armored vehicles, ammunition.”
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stands by decision to leave behind U.S. military equipment in botched withdrawal. pic.twitter.com/CkYW29lxSh
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 17, 2021
Watch Sullivan’s comments above.
BAD NEWS for BIDEN: Poll Shows 69% of Americans Disapprove of President’s Handling of Afghanistan
A new poll from the Trafalgar Group shows a vast majority of Americans disapprove of Joe Biden’s handling of Afghanistan, raising serious new questions for Democrats heading into the highly contested midterm elections.
“When broken down by party, 48 percent of Democrats disapprove of the president’s handling of the situation, while almost 40 percent of those polled gave him positive marks,” reports The Hill.
“But the gap was much wider among Republicans: Nearly 89 percent said they disapprove of the job Biden is doing when it comes to Afghanistan, with only 7 percent saying they approve,” adds the outlet.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 17, 2021
President Joe Biden returned to his vacation at Camp David Monday evening after delivering a brief address on the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. In total, he was in Washington for a span of just a few hours.
“This is what failed and weak leadership looks like. President Biden is headed back to vacation after his speech on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan,” posted the House Republicans on Twitter.
This is what failed and weak leadership looks like.
President Biden is headed back to vacation after his speech on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/3NWV7rJ148
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) August 16, 2021
US Troops shot and killed two armed gunmen at Kabul’s Airport Monday as thousands of Afghans attempted to flee the country while the Taliban rapidly seizes control.
“In separate incidents at the airport on Monday, U.S. troops shot and killed two armed men at the airport and at least three Afghans clinging to the side of an Air Force jet were run over and killed,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
At least 7,000 US Soldiers will be deployed to protect the airport and evacuate American citizens in the days ahead.
Biden will address the country today, as Afghans clinging to US planes fall to their deaths in Kabul. Hard to script a worse propaganda victory for our enemies as we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11. There is nothing Biden can say now to right the wrong of his failed policy.
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) August 16, 2021
Read the full report here.
BIDEN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Afghanistan Collapse ‘Unfolded at Unexpected Speed’
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan weighed-in on the chaos engulfing Afghanistan Monday; admitting the Biden administration was caught off-guard by the “speed” of the Taliban advance.
“The president did not think it was inevitable that the Taliban were going to take control of Afghanistan,” Sullivan told ABC News. “He thought the Afghan national security forces could step up and fight because we spent 20 years, tens of billions of dollars, training them, giving them the best equipment, giving them support of U.S. forces for 20 years.”
“When push came to shove, they decided not to step up and fight for their country,” Sullivan added.
Scenes of panic and chaos played out at the airport in Kabul as crowds of people desperate to escape Afghanistan rushed onto the tarmac.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 16, 2021
“We planned for a wide range of contingencies, one of those was the need to flow in a substantial number of forces to secure the airport and be able to facilitate that evacuation,” Sullivan explained. “We have now successfully drawn down the U.S. embassy in Kabul. We have moved all of those personnel either to the airport or out of the country. And we flowed in several thousand troops who had been prepositioned in theater for precisely this purpose.”
BREAKING: Seven people are dead amid the chaos at the Kabul airport, including some who fell from a departing American military transport jet, senior U.S. military officials say. https://t.co/2JPKZXpx4n
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 16, 2021
“We are working to do that, first, by securing the airport today and then in the days ahead, by taking people out one flight a time, flight after flight,” Sullivan said. “We fully intend to continue an evacuation process to bring out people who worked alongside of us in Afghanistan.”
— The Hill (@thehill) August 16, 2021
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.