As the U.S. withdrew its military presence ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline, the Taliban made lightning advances to seize control of more territory — despite being outnumbered by the Afghan military.
Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday, Bolton said the U.S. had gone into Afghanistan in 2001 to oust the Taliban and the “sanctuary they had provided to Al Qaeda.”
“We stayed there for an equally valid strategic reason,” said Bolton, who is widely considered a foreign policy hawk. “Which is to keep Taliban, Al Qaeda and other threatening terrorist groups from regaining a capability, to have a privileged sanctuary from which they could plan and direct attacks against the U.S. and our friends and allies.”
Safe haven for terrorists?
What Taliban-controlled Afghanistan provides is potential for a regime that enables terrorist groups — unlike other regimes which try and hunt them down and eliminate them.
former U.S. national security advisor
Biden this week defended his decision to pull out U.S. troops amid mounting criticism of his administration’s handling of the situation, as parts of Kabul descended into chaos following the government’s collapse.
“What Taliban-controlled Afghanistan provides is potential for a regime that enables terrorist groups — unlike other regimes which try and hunt them down and eliminate them,” Bolton said.
“They can now go to Afghanistan under Taliban and expect a more hospitable reception. I think that endangers us all,” he added.