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'Sequel to Vietnam humiliation': McConnell on US exit from Afghanistan

US Senate Minority Leader McConnell said the US is "careening toward a massive, predictable, and preventable disaster"

Friday August 13, 2021 6:54 PM, IANS

US Exit from Afghanistan

Washington: US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned that Americas retreat from Afghanistan risks a replay of the nations humiliating withdrawal from Saigon at the end of the Vietnam conflict in 1975.

As thousands of American soldiers were ordered back to Kabul to evacuate the Embassy staff amid a rapid advance by the Taliban, McConnell said the US is "careening toward a massive, predictable, and preventable disaster", The Guardian reported.

The remark came as officials confirmed on Friday that the Taliban had captured Afghanistan's second biggest city, Kandahar, as well as Lashkar Gah in the south.

The Taliban also claimed that they have captured the western city of Herat, the country's third-largest city, and Qala-e-Naw in the north-west.

Also Read | Regional capitals falling like dominoes as Taliban march deeper in Afghanistan

The report said a photo that immortalised America's defeat in Vietnam, showing evacuees boarding a helicopter on the roof of a building, spread fast on social networks after the US announced troop evacuation from Afghanistan.

"A huge foreign policy failure"

Although US President Joe Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, had signalled the withdrawal, McConnell gave a searing assessment of the White House plan.

"The latest news of a further drawdown at our embassy and a hasty deployment of military forces seem like preparations for the fall of Kabul," McConnell said.

"President [Joe] Biden's decisions have us hurtling toward an even worse sequel to the humiliating fall of Saigon in 1975. President Biden is finding that the quickest way to end a war is to lose it," McConnell said, urging the President instead to commit to providing more support to Afghan forces.

A former US state department spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, added her weight to the chorus of criticism, saying that it was "a huge foreign policy failure with generational ramifications just shy of seven months into this administration. Everything points to a complete collapse".

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