Aug 16 2021
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Fox News’ Hannity to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. Watch the video here and see below for highlights.
On the Biden Administration’s failure to heed bipartisan warnings of the risks posed by a rushed exit from Afghanistan:
“You look at the intelligence, you look at everything before this - it was clear that not only was the worst-case scenario out there, it was the likeliest outcome that was going to happen.
“And we kept insisting, ‘What is the plan if this happens? What is the plan?’ And they arrogantly and smugly ignored it. They ignored everyone who was warning them because they’re the ‘experts,’ they know everything, and now we’re seeing the consequences.
“There are two things to keep in mind. Number one is Joe Biden was elected promising competence, the return of normalcy, the return of expertise to foreign policy, and we see that they can't even execute on something like this and ignore the people who know something about it. That does encourage countries like China and other adversaries not just to go out and try to undermine confidence in America, but actually test America and think they can get away with it.
“And the other is something that the Pentagon is already saying, and we have already been saying for close to nine months - the biggest problem here is going to be now that Al-Qaeda is coming back to Afghanistan. Let there be no doubt - they are coming back, they will reconstitute, they will pose a threat again, and this Administration has no plan whatsoever to prevent that from happening.”
On America’s foreign policy going forward:
“Foreign policy is a very tough business. It’s not made in the park. It’s not made in the parlors in the capitals of these cities. It’s not made in these think tanks, or the commentary class. It is hard-nosed nation-states making a decision about what can we get away with, and if we do this what is going to happen to us.
“Right now, with Joe Biden in the White House, our adversaries will conclude that there are things they can get away with because this White House is not strong, they’re not prepared, and they're not confident. I fear what that means. This is a big problem.”
On deterring future threats after the Afghanistan collapse:
“The war in Afghanistan had to come to a conclusion. This couldn't go on forever, but it had to be done the right way; not this way. What this way reveals is that you can get away with things with this administration. They are not going to take it seriously, they’re not going to know what to do about it.
“I look back at the Soleimani strike. It was widely condemned called murder and execution. There were all kinds of people attacking President Trump for doing it, but I assure you 100%, I know for a fact that it impacted the psychology of the Iranian regime and of the group that Soleimani headed. …
“That's exactly what a lot of foreign policy is all about: what your adversaries believe they can get away with. Not what you’re saying. Not what you’re writing. What they think you will do. The Soleimani strike sent a message that was important to do. He was a smug guy walking around and flying around with impunity. He thought he was untouchable until he wasn't. There is no fear of that happening under Joe Biden.”
On Biden Administration ignoring warnings of collapse:
“They operated under assumptions that were completely ridiculous. The assumption was well, ‘what if the Afghan forces stand up and fight and really push back.’ If you make those assumptions, they could've held on for another six months or a year. But all the indications were that as soon as the U.S. announced we were leaving, police officers would abandon post, regular armed forces would abandon posts, and leaders would abandon the country. That is exactly what happened. That’s what they were told, that’s what they were warned would happen. They didn't care and now we see the consequences of it.”