Former Clinton Adviser Calls Afghanistan 'Political Disaster' For Biden, Democrats
01:30 GMT 26.08.2021 (Updated: 08:57 GMT 15.11.2022)
© REUTERS / LEAH MILLISU.S. President Joe Biden waits for the news media to be ushered out of the room after delivering remarks during a meeting with members of his national security team and private sector leaders to discuss how to "improve the nation's cybersecurity," in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 25, 2021
US President Joe Biden has received harsh bipartisan criticism over his continuation of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, where turmoil continues at the international airport in Kabul as thousands struggle to leave the country.
A former adviser to Hillary Clinton, Mark Penn, shared his opinion on US efforts in Afghanistan, saying that the current situation in the Middle Eastern country is a "political disaster" that can hit the Democratic party hard in the midterm elections.
"I think there's no question this is an actual and political disaster for President Biden," Penn told Fox News in an interview. "Of course, we don't know the long-term effects yet because the events are still evolving as we speak."
Clinton's former adviser noted that Biden will need "extreme competence" to "come back from this".
"He's going to have to restore his credibility here," Penn warned. "He's got some very big challenges, or he's going to face some serious problems in the midterms."
Penn pointed at poll figures showing that Biden's actions in Afghanistan are not welcomed by a majority of Americans answering questionnaires, with a recent NBC poll showing that only 25 percent of adults participating in the survey approve his Afghan policies. Poll respondents showed the overall approval of Biden's presidency had dropped below 50%.
Penn also suggested that the actions of the Biden administration are causing Americans to feel less secure.
"I can tell you that the public will feel less secure with the Taliban back in office unless there's real evidence that the Taliban have forsaken terrorism, and so far, we haven't seen that", he said.
Penn, however, tried to be optimistic.
"Events are still evolving," he remarked. "We don't know whether he's going to come back from this or fall further."
Biden faced intense bipartisan backlash over his actions in Afghanistan as he struggles to comply with the 31 August deadline set for all foreign troops to leave the country. While many, including G7 member countries, are calling for an extension of the deadline, the Taliban* dismissed the possibility, pledging "consequences" if foreign troops remain in Afghanistan after 31 August.
According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the United States has evacuated over 80,000 people from Kabul as of Wednesday.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries