Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, on Sunday called the abandonment of the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan a strategic blunder that robs the United States of a portal to keep an eye on Russia, China and Iran.
In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” McCaul lamented that “we are dark in Afghanistan,” blasting the lack of a plan for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, known as ISR capability, in the region.
“We are dark in Afghanistan, we’re also dark when it comes to Russia, China and Iran,” he warned.
According to McCaul, the reason why Bagram was so important “is because it is a national security asset for the United States — or it was until the Taliban took it over.”
“This provided eyes and ears, not only in Afghanistan but Russia, China and Iran, our adversaries. They are now emboldened. We can’t see, we’re going dark now. That is a very dangerous.”
McCaul also said he expects to grill Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday about the withdrawal and its deadly strategic errors.
“Why didn’t he listen to the intelligence community warnings since April and May of this last year telling us, telling me, that the Taliban was going to take over, the Afghan army was going to fall and the embassy would be in trouble,” he said.
“Instead they listened to … the special envoy, this rosy dream they were somehow going to negotiate a last minute deal with the Taliban was absolutely fantasy world. It was like a Yale faculty lounge rather than a war on the ground,” he fumed.
“I want to know why he left American citizens behind,” McCaul added. “Why did the military evacuate before American citizens. I want to know why our interpreters who put their lives on the lines and fought with our special forces, why were they left behind… And then finally I want to know why, why are we not building this ISR capability…. we’re in a far more dangerous situation.”
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