President Joe Biden and his top military brass are facing increasing criticism over the way they handled the U.S. troop pullout in Afghanistan and the resulting chaos that ensued, including the deaths of 13 U.S. service members.
According to the Washington Examiner, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined a growing list of high-profile Republicans, many of them veterans, who claim that if Biden greenlights the order to recapture Bagram Airfield, it could be taken in the matter of a single night.
Many have slammed the Biden administration for not making such an obvious move, as it would not only make evacuations much easier and more controlled, it would have likely prevented the deaths of U.S. troops and Afghan allies.
According to Yahoo News, Graham echoed Former President Donald Trump’s thoughts on the mistake Biden made by not recapturing the valuable former U.S. airbase, which Trump claimed would have helped the administration avoid the fiasco it now faces.
Graham pushes for Bagram
During an interview with Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro on Saturday evening, Graham insisted that retaking Bagram, which was turned over to Afghan military commanders earlier this year, who would ultimately surrender to Taliban forces, could easily be done.
“Bagram was a great evacuation platform. It has multiple runways. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, and you can take that airbase tonight if you wanted to,” the Republican senator said. “If you had any will in the White House, militarily, we can take Bagram Air Base.”
Not only does Bagram offer the benefits of the ability of U.S. troops to provide better security, the base is also close to the Panjshir Valley, known to be an anti-Taliban section of the war-torn country.
“They need to have a footprint to continue to get people out, and you can make the Taliban’s life difficult. But we are choosing to do none of that. This is a dark, despicable, and depressing chapter in American history,” Graham added.
Why not take it?
A number of Biden’s top officials have been pressed by reporters on their decision to not move forward with taking and using Bagram Airfield as the primary evacuation zone.
According to Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, taking Bagram “is a significant level of military effort of forces, and it would also require external support from the Afghan Security Forces.”
Biden himself recently said that Bagram “was not much value added, that it was much wiser to focus on Kabul. And so, I followed that recommendation,” referencing his decision to stick with what his top military leaders have allegedly recommended.
A growing list of U.S. military veterans have said that securing Bagram would not only have been relatively easy but also an invaluable resource that would have ensured the safe evacuation of American citizens, American troops, and the Afghan allies we promised to protect if the Taliban ever recaptured the country.