LOUISVILLE, KY – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement after receiving a Biden Administration briefing on the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan:

“The Biden Administration’s botched exit from Afghanistan including the frantic evacuation of Americans and vulnerable Afghans from Kabul is a shameful failure of American leadership.

“The rapid advance of the Taliban was expected after the US abandonment of Afghan security forces. The plight of innocent Afghans was predicted, and the challenges of safely evacuating US personnel and innocent Afghans have been magnified by our inexplicable withdrawal from Bagram Air Base. And the likelihood that Al Qaeda will return to plot attacks from Afghanistan is growing.

“Everyone saw this coming except the President, who publicly and confidently dismissed these threats just a few weeks ago. The strategic, humanitarian, and moral consequences of this self-inflicted wound will hurt our country and distract from other challenges for years to come.

“America’s two-decade involvement in Afghanistan has had many authors. So have the strategic missteps made along the way. I have never hesitated to express myself candidly when leaders of either party threatened to put politics ahead of reality on the ground. But as the monumental collapse our own experts predicted unfolds in Kabul today, responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of our current Commander-in-Chief.

“A proud superpower has been reduced to hoping the Taliban will not interfere with our efforts to flee Afghanistan. God knows what fate awaits vulnerable Afghans who cannot make it to Kabul to board one of the final flights out. Terrorists and major competitors like China are watching the embarrassment of a superpower laid low.

“It did not have to happen this way. The United States had the capacity to avoid this disaster. We still have the capacity to dampen its effects, but without a presence on the ground or local partners, defending the homeland from a resurgent al Qaeda will be far more difficult.”