OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney continues to find ways to stoop as low as he possibly can to attack Donald Trump.
While speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper, Romney argued that Trump is also to blame for the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.
Tapper asked: “Should there be a U.S. military presence in the Kabul airport until every American citizen and legal permanent resident and Afghan SIV applicant is gone, even if that means service members staying for weeks and months? Of course, there’s this real possibility of American casualties.”
Romney said, “Leaving Americans behind and leaving our Afghan friends behind, who worked with us, would put upon us and will put upon us a moral stain. This is the result of very ineffective decisions by the prior administration and the current administration. This did not have to happen. It was preventable.”
“And let me note that’s very different than the military. Our military came in at the very last moment and has performed admirably as far as I can tell to move people out as quickly as possible,” he added.
Romney then blamed Trump without actually mentioning his name.
“We didn’t have to be in this rush, rush circumstance with terrorists breathing down our neck. It’s the responsibility of the prior administration and this administration that’s cause this crisis to be upon us and has led to what is, without question, a humanitarian and foreign policy tragedy,” he said.
Romney can’t blame Biden without blaming Trump. pic.twitter.com/miF1pTNM0N
— Suburban Black Man 🇺🇸 (@goodblackdude) August 29, 2021
For his part, Trump is calling for the U.S. to use “unequivocal military force” against the Taliban if the terrorist group does not return American weaponry that was left behind by the Biden administration during the catastrophic evacuation.
In a scathing statement, Trump also said the U.S. should “at least bomb the hell out of” the billions of dollars in weaponry and equipment to prevent the Taliban from using it.
“Never in history has a withdrawal from war been handled so badly or incompetently as the Biden Administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Trump said in a statement.
“In addition to the obvious, ALL EQUIPMENT should be demanded to be immediately returned to the United States, and that includes every penny of the $85 billion dollars in cost,” he added.
“If it is not handed back, we should either go in with unequivocal Military force and get it, or at least bomb the hell out of it. Nobody ever thought such stupidity, as this feeble-brained withdrawal, was possible!” he continued.
The Hill reported:
Among the items seized by the Taliban are Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft.
Photos have also circulated of Taliban fighters clutching U.S.-made M4 carbines and M16 rifles instead of their iconic AK-47s. And the militants have been spotted with U.S. Humvees and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles.
The United States spent an estimated $83 billion training and equipping Afghan security forces over the last two decades.
The Hill report added:
Between 2003 and 2016, the United States transferred 75,898 vehicles, 599,690 weapons, 162,643 pieces of communications equipment, 208 aircraft, and 16,191 pieces of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment to Afghan forces, according to a 2017 Government Accountability Office report.
From 2017 to 2019, the United States also gave Afghan forces 7,035 machine guns, 4,702 Humvees, 20,040 hand grenades, 2,520 bombs, and 1,394 grenade launchers, among other equipment, according to a report last year from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
As of June 30, Afghan forces had 211 U.S.-supplied aircraft in their inventory, a separate SIGAR report said.
At least 46 of those aircraft are now in Uzbekistan after more than 500 Afghan troops used them to flee as the government in Kabul collapsed over the weekend.
In terms of weaponry, the Taliban has reportedly seized 64,363 machine guns, 176 artillery pieces, 126,295 pistols, 358,530 assault rifles, along with 16,035 night vision goggles and 162,043 radios. pic.twitter.com/YLKsi80Kdy
— NewsBytes (@NewsBytesApp) August 31, 2021
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan also admitted the Biden administration does not know where all the equipment has gone and that it’s unlikely they will get it back.
“We don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone, but certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban. And obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport,” Sullivan said.