Chaos, collapse in Afghanistan preventable, McMaster says

Aug 26, 2021, 5:27 PM
Afghanistan chaos...
National security adviser H.R. McMaster listens during the daily press briefing at the White House, Monday, July 31, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

SALT LAKE CITY — By insisting on withdrawing on deadline at all costs, the chaos and collapse in Afghanistan is a self-inflicted crisis of the Biden administration’s making, said HR McMaster, who was President Donald Trump’s national security adviser between 2017 and 2018.

Related: Several US Marines killed in Kabul airport explosion

He joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to discuss the rapidly disintegrating situation.

It’s now a US evacuation mission

McMaster said what’s unfolding in Afghanistan now is what happens when the United States surrenders to the Taliban — a terror organization — after 20 years of war, leaving the US without much control over the situation.

“We’ve already made it clear that we’re just going to adhere to a timeline, and we don’t care how many people we actually leave behind,” he said.

The only other alternative is to ask President Joe Biden to consider an objective other than surrender and withdrawal, which the US has the power to do; the United States is not Ecuador, he said.

“We have resources. We have a military that can impose our will in parts of the country if we need to  get [more] people out,” he said. 

Self-delusions of war

McMaster said the “surrender agreement” that the Trump administration entered into in February 2020 was based on the assumption that the Taliban would share power with the Afghan government.

“That’s crazy,” he said, adding the Biden administration is operating under the assumption that there are no consequences to losing a war.

“What we’re seeing is just the beginning of those consequences. It is the beginning of humanitarian catastrophe of colossal scale.”

McMaster predicted a destabilization in the region as jihadists benefit from the US withdrawal. 

He added the US will pay a price in security for abandoning Afghanistan, which served as a a modern-day frontier between barbarism and civilization.

A predictable collapse

The United States set up the collapse of the Afghan government by not insisting on a ceasefire, granting the release of 5,000 criminals and sticking to the hard exit deadline, he said.

With those guarantees, the Taliban then threatened Afghan district chiefs and provincial governors.

“Either accommodate us or we’re going to kill your family. We threw the Afghans under the bus on our way out.”

 The majority of Afghans don’t want to live under Taliban rule, so Americans should support them in their efforts to put the country back together, back opposition groups and welcome those fleeing the turmoil, McMaster said.

“We should welcome them into our neighborhoods and into our communities because they’ll strengthen us much like I think those who fled other disasters have become some of our greatest and most productive and patriotic citizens.”

McMaster closed by saying if the Biden administration makes a move to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan, there should be “a loud, angry outcry from all Americans.”

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Chaos, collapse in Afghanistan preventable, McMaster says