Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas warned Sunday that Afghanistan would likely plunge into a civil war if President Biden pulls out U.S. forces as promised this year.
Mr. McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, cautioned about the potential threat during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“When I met with [Afghanistan’s] President Ghani last week … they talked, his team, about how this is going to be the ‘year of the Jihad,’” Mr. McCaulsaid . “What do they mean by that? It means all the young males in Pakistan [being trained by the Taliban] are poised with Taliban to pour over into Afghanistan and you’re going to see a major civil war take place.”
The Republican lawmaker argued that the White House is doing little to prevent such an outcome.
“We can debate how long to stay there, but my criticism is a lack of planning and preparation for this,” said Mr. McCaul.
Mr. Biden has pledged to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 — effectively ending America’s 20-year engagement in the country.
As part of the withdrawal, the U.S. military turned over Bagram Airfield to the Afghan National Security Defense Forces last week. The move was significant since Bagram was the U.S.’ largest military base in Afghanistan for much of the war.
Overall, Mr. Biden’s withdrawal from the country is more than 50% complete.
Critics say the administration is leaving Afghanistan to fend for itself in the face of renewed pressure from the Taliban and other Islamic extremist groups.
Estimates by the U.S. intelligence community suggest the Taliban can gain control of the country in as little as six months after Mr. Biden’s withdrawal.
“We’re [going] dark in Afghanistan, and there can be consequences long term for this,” Mr. McCaul said. “At the end of the day, when we fully withdraw, the devastation and the killings … [the] humanitarian crisis, [individuals] fleeing across the border to Pakistan, President Biden‘s gonna own these ugly images.”