Afghanistan: US exit ‘a mistake of highest order’ says Bolton
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In a ferocious appearance on Channel 4 News, Mr Bolton outlined that Joe Biden has made a mistake “of the highest order” and blasted him for playing a role in the US’s “futile struggle” in Afghanistan. He suggested the US “lost sight” of the original mission in Afghanistan insisting that it was not to nation-build or bring democracy to the region, but instead act as a forward defence for the US against terrorism. His comments come as the final US troops on Afghan soil left on Tuesday after 20-years in the country. The departure was followed almost immediately by reports of raucous Taliban celebrations of gunfire as the terror group took control of the airport. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid then gave a speech to Taliban fighters dressed in US military gear on the tarmac of the airfield celebrating their victory.
The former national security adviser said: “I didn’t think it would end with America walking away.
“I don’t see that we have been defeated in Afghanistan except by ourselves!”
He claimed that the withdrawal is an “unforced error” adding how he was gravely concerned about the “consequences” that await America and the west as a whole.
And in a direct attack on President Joe Biden, Mr Bolton suggested how America and the West are now “less secure today” than before the decision to pull out of Afghanistan.
John Bolton ridiculed Biden for the withdrawal from Afghanistan (Image: Getty Images)
John Bolton served as National Security Advisor to Donald Trump (Image: Getty Images)
Mr Bolton said: “This is a mistake of the highest order!
“It was begun in the Trump administration with negotiating with the Taliban.
“It has continued under Biden and the execution of a bad decision has been bungled very badly!”
He insisted the catastrophic withdrawal did not have to turn out the way it has before pointing to a series of crucial errors which he suggested were America’s shortfalls during its involvement in the country.
Fox News host hits out at Joe Biden’s leadership
The Taliban celebrate their victory over the USA (Image: Getty Images)
Mr Bolton claimed how successive US administrations “lost sight” of the fact that the “main reason” for being in Afghanistan was actually to act as a “forward defence of the United States” as well as its allies to make sure the Taliban did not resume control.
The hawkish former security adviser added that a second reason for remaining in the country was to ensure Afghanistan did not offer “sanctuary to Al-Qaeda” and other terrorist groups.
And in a sobering moment, he went on to suggest that America’s “strategic mission” was never to actually “nation-build” in Afghanistan nor was it to bring democracy or to centralise the government, which he claimed was what ended up happening regardless.
He added as result of these efforts America then got sucked into a civil war.
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The last US soldier to leave Afghanistan (Image: Reuters)
Mr Bolton concluded by stressing that as a result of US leadership not being clear with the American people as to what exactly the mission was in Afghanistan – people were left questioning why they were involved at all.
He said: “[It] left people with a feeling this was a long and futile struggle that we have now abandoned.”
The final flight for US troops left the Afghan capital of Kabul shortly before midnight local time, meeting President Joe Biden’s commitment to withdraw by August 31.
The flight out marked the end of 20-years of western intervention in Afghanistan, the original mission being to oust the Taliban from control and dismantle terrorist group Al-Qaeda following the 9/11 attacks which were planned on Afghan soil by the group’s leader Osama Bin Laden.