A retired Army lieutenant general who served under the Trump administration as a national security advisor is criticising the pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, which he believes will become the "new epicenter of jihadist terrorism" as it is now controlled by the Taliban.
Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster, who was a national security adviser to former President Donald Trump for 14 months between 2017 to 2018, said he disagrees with both former President Trump and President Joe Biden about the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and that the U.S.' current Democratic leader failed in the withdrawal operations.
"It's going to get much worse," McMaster warned during a conversation with Fox News following the Kabul attack that killed 13 U.S. servicemen and women.
The retired Army Lieutenant General argued that the Islamist militant organization called Haqqani network that supports terrorism is "now in charge of security in Kabul." This is the very same organization that led an attack on a Kabul hotel in 2011. In 2008 and 2009, it was also responsible for suicide bombings undertaken at the Indian Embassy in Kabul.
The U.S. recognizes the Haqqani as a foreign terrorist organization.
"You compound that with the 5,000 that we made the Afghans release from prison. And then you compound that further with all the prisons being empty now of ISIS, Khorasan and al-Qaeda and the Taliban," McMaster argued. "And so what we now have is a new epicenter of jihadist terrorism that is going to be a grave threat to the world."
The retired Army Lieutenant General then questioned how the U.S. could possibly "engage the Taliban about the future of Afghanistan - and maybe instead engage Afghans other than the Taliban, about the future of Afghanistan and then really double down on our counterterrorism efforts broadly with partners across the world because the situation is going to get much worse."
Christian Headlines reported that McMaster claims the U.S. "defeated ourselves" and that former President Tump was "played" by the Taliban. He maintained that the former Republican president's position on the Afghanistan matter was "unwise."
The retired Army Lieutenant General added that some Washington leaders "drew a bold line between the Taliban and al Qaeda" and treated them differently when he said that these organizations are "intertwined" and interrelated. He also said President Biden "ignored the warnings" of what may happen if they continued the abrupt withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
On Monday, the Pentagon announced that the final military flight out of Kabul in Afghanistan had left, formally ending the 20-year war after the chaotic evacuation operations, Al Jazeera reported. General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, declared on Monday, "Every single American service member is now out of Afghanistan. I can say that with absolute certainty."
McKenzie explained that the U.S. forces began evacuations on August 14, relying on the Afghan security forces to maintain themselves as a "willing and able" partner. However, the Afghan government fell a day later and the Taliban took over, during which the U.S. was forced to coordinate evacuation efforts with the militant group. He added that the Taliban had been "helpful and useful" in helping secure the Kabul airport over the last two weeks.