Ex-CIA Chief Warns Afghanistan Situation Is ‘Catastrophic’
Former CIA Director and retired Army general David Petraeus issues warning
Former CIA Director David Petraeus has warned that Democrat Joe Biden's "disastrous" handling of Afghanistan has created a "catastrophic" security situation.
Retired Army general Petraeus says the rapidly deteriorating situation is not only devastating for the U.S. but the whole world.
"This is an enormous national security setback and it is on the verge of getting much worse unless we decide to take really significant action," the ex-Obama admin official told host Rita Cosby on "The Rita Cosby Show" on WABC Radio.
Petraeus was the former commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan.
He described the domino effect that occurred once the U.S. pulled the bulk of its remaining troops out of the nation.
America's withdrawal prompted the swift removal of all NATO forces and contractors – some of whom maintained the Afghan air force.
Petraeus said he was concerned "months ago" about a "psychological collapse" that would occur when Afghan forces realized they could not uphold the level of support they were accustomed to in fighting back against the Taliban.
"We are now in a situation where the Taliban are trying to encircle Kabul – a city of 5 or 6 million – before hundreds of thousands of refugees starting flooding into it," he added.
"If we communicate effectively with the Taliban that they need to halt what they are doing, or we will bring the might of the U.S. military down upon them, we can stop this."
In recent weeks the Taliban have made major advances by gaining control of 240 of the nation’s 421 districts.
The insurgent group additionally gained power in the second- and third-largest cities of Kandahar and Herat earlier this week – prompting greater concern for the safety of Kabul as Taliban forces advance on Afghanistan’s capital.
Biden authorized a mass evacuation of thousands of American diplomatic personal and Afghan interpreters by sending in thousands of additional troops to aid the 1,000 already positioned at the Kabul airport and U.S. embassy.
"The outcome, whether it is the Taliban taking over the country or it’s the kind of civil war that we saw in the wake of the collapse of the post-Soviet government, there are no good outcomes here," Petraeus said.
"In fact, there is nothing more than horrible outcomes unless we are willing to acknowledge that this is not going as more optimistic projections laid out and take stock."
The retired general said he doesn’t fear an immediate threat to the U.S. from what he believes will likely become an Al-Qaeda and Islamic State sanctuary.
Instead, he pointed to the fallout from the collapse of Afghanistan as the real threat.
"Remember what happened when Syria melted down. We used to call it the ‘geopolitical Chernobyl,’" he added, reflecting on the violence, extremism, and "tsunami of refugees" that affected not only neighboring nations but European allies.
Petraeus said the situation has not passed the point of no return but argued it will require an "enormous amount of effort" now that regions that housed U.S. troops have been taken over by the Taliban.