(CNSNews.com) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told “Fox News Sunday” that the Afghanistan withdrawal is “one of the worst foreign policy decisions” in U.S. history, even worse than Saigon, because when the U.S. pulled out of Saigon, there weren't Vietnamese terrorists planning to attack Americans at home.
“Yes, I think what's been lost in all of this, Chris, is why we went there in the first place. We went there to prevent the Taliban from having a regime that would allow terrorists to reconstitute themselves and hit us again here at home. It's been a total success. If you -- this term ‘endless war,’ let's take a look at it,” McConnell said.
“The last seven months, the Afghans have lost more people fighting than we have over 20 years. They've taken 65,000 casualties. We've taken roughly 2,000 in 20 years. The last year and a half, we've lost no one,” the minority leader said.
“With our continued deployment of 2,500 people, we were, in effect, keeping the lid on, keeping terrorists from reconstituting, and having a light footprint in the country. The policy was working. Therefore, I think calling it an endless war or claiming that we're somehow trying to get involved in a civil war is - a domestic civil war is simply not accurate,” he said.
“We went over there to protect us here at home. We've not had a mass casualty attack from over there in these 20 years. I'd call that a successful policy. Now we're looking at the exit, and over the next two days, our heroic military is doing the best they can with a horrible policy decision,” McConnell said.
“This is one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history, much worse than Saigon because after we left Saigon, there weren't Vietnamese terrorists who were planning on attacking us here at home, that we leave behind exactly what we went in to solve 20 years ago, and I fear for the future in continuing the war on terror,” he said.
“You know, just because we decide to quit fighting doesn't mean the terrorists go away. So they're still out there. They're invigorated. They're emboldened and excited about the success they see in bringing America to its knees in Afghanistan,” McConnell said.
When asked how we deal with terrorist attacks coming from Afghanistan in the future and how we deal with the Taliban, McConnell said, “Very poorly, frankly. We will - we'll not have sources on the ground. The over the horizon attacks, such as was carried out, is, you know, quite limited in effectiveness, and every either American or Afghan ally left behind is either a potential victim or a hostage.
“Remember the Taliban love taking hostages. They've done this before. It puts us in an extraordinarily difficult position, and also, remember, Afghanistan is landlocked. There's only one way in by air and one way out by air,” the minority leader said.
“We don't have sort of friends in the neighborhood that would provide us the kind of intelligence that we would normally get, for example, in Syria or in Africa or in Yemen. So it's going to be extremely difficult. We have very, very little leverage to extract additional Americans or Afghan allies from this landlocked country,” he said.