WASHINGTON: Former US President Donald Trump has slammed his successor Joe Biden on his Afghan policy and expressed concerns that thousands of terrorists might have been flown out of Afghanistan as part of the evacuation process.
"Biden surrendered Afghanistan to terrorists and left thousands of Americans for dead by pulling out the military before our citizens," Trump said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Now we are learning that out of the 26,000 people who have been evacuated, only 4,000 are Americans. You can be sure, the Taliban, who are now in complete control, didn't allow the best and brightest to board these evacuation flights."
"Instead, we can only imagine how many thousands of terrorists have been airlifted out of Afghanistan and into neighbourhoods around the world. What a terrible failure. NO VETTING. How many terrorists will Joe Biden bring to America? We don't know!" he said.
Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Mike Waltz, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives, condemning Biden's failure to heed the advice of military and intelligence advisors about the speed and nature of the Taliban offensive, failure to present a coherent counter-terrorism or evacuation plan to the American people, and the damage done to the US credibility as a result of the president's abandonment of America's Afghan allies.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik.
"President Biden has embarrassed the United States on the world stage and created the worst foreign policy blunder in our modern history," Waltz said.
Rather than heeding the advice of military leaders and lawmakers, Biden created a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan that he alone owns, all for the sake of seeking a headline that he would withdraw US troops prior to the 20th anniversary of September 11, he said.
"Now, we will have shamefully given away the freedoms of Afghans, our military equipment and infrastructure, and countless other resources to the hands of Taliban terrorists because of the President's cluelessness and stubbornness," Waltz alleged.
"Additionally, it is growing more likely by the day we will have broken our promise to thousands of Afghan allies who stood should-to-shoulder with our troops on the battlefield that have now been handed a death sentence for our failure to safely evacuate them in a timely fashion," he said.
The intelligence community has made it clear that Al Qaeda 3.0 will come roaring back as the Taliban have made no indication they have cut ties with the perpetrators of September 11, Waltz said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the United States and its allies for leaving Afghanistan in chaos that raises potential security threats for Russia and its allies in Central Asia.
Addressing Tuesday's meeting of the main Kremlin party, United Russia, Putin noted that militants could use the turmoil to destabilize the ex-Soviet Central Asian nations bordering Afghanistan.
"There is a danger that terrorists and different groups that found a refuge in Afghanistan will use the chaos left by our Western colleagues and try to launch an expansion into neighboring countries," Putin said.
"That will pose a direct threat to our country and its allies."
At the same time, Putin noted that Moscow has learned the lessons of the 10-year Soviet war in Afghanistan and will stay away from turmoil in Afghanistan.
"We have drawn the necessary lessons," Putin said.
"We don't have any intention to interfere in Afghanistan's internal affairs and, moreover, let our military forces be drawn into the all-against-all conflict."
He added that a possible rise in drug trafficking and the exacerbation of problems with migration could also pose threats to Russia.
Moscow, which fought a 10-year war in Afghanistan that ended with the Soviet troops' withdrawal in 1989, has made a diplomatic comeback as a mediator over the past few years, reaching out to the Taliban and other feuding Afghan factions.