Top US Republican: Afghan Issue Worse Now Than Pre 9/11, Taliban Has US Weapons
By Staff, Agencies
US Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, stated on Sunday that the situation in Afghanistan is "worse" than it was before the September 11 terror attacks because the Taliban is now "fully armed" with American weapons.
In an interview with "Fox News Sunday," McCaul was asked how he sees the terror danger from Afghanistan now that the Taliban has gained power, given the limitations imposed by over-the-horizon operations, the congressman claimed the situation is worse than it was before the 2001 attacks.
“We're going back to pre-9/11 right now, but it’s worse, it's worse because now they're fully armed with our weapons, our helicopters and pallets of our cash," McCaul told Fox News' Chris Wallace.
McCaul noted that the US' ability to "deal with" the terror threat in Afghanistan without American troops on the ground is "greatly exaggerated" because Afghanistan is landlocked and surrounded by "enemies" who "have now been emboldened by this foreign policy blunder."
"We have to establish that ISR [intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance] capability somewhere over the horizon," he stressed. "[That] means flying from the Gulf, probably countries like Qatar, which would be, you know, anywhere from six to eight hours, having to fly, you know, around Iran over Pakistan, get refueling."
McCaul added that when talking to military members, they told him "this is not adequate for us to have ISR capability, well, we need to see, eyes and ears on the ground, to see the threat so that we can respond to the threat and eliminate it."
Moreover, in the interview, McCaul emphasized, when discussing the alleged mass murders of ex-Afghan government officials by the Taliban that the insurgent group is not "new and improved," but rather is reverting to the "brutal" tactics it used when it was in control more than 20 years ago.
The Texan Republican also told the show's presenter Chris Wallace that six flights were currently being held at the airport in the northern part of the country, with American nationals and Afghan collaborators on board, and the Taliban was purposefully creating the situation, "holding them hostage" to make demands to the US.