Former President Donald Trump hit the Biden administration Tuesday for abandoning the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan given its close proximity to China and also slammed the president for leaving behind military equipment for the Taliban to seize amid the chaotic withdrawal.
In an interview with Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.”, Trump said President Biden owed the US and the world an apology after the final troops left Afghanistan overnight in a frantic exit that cost the lives of 13 US service members and more than 180 Afghans.
“We were all set to have a victory in terms of getting out and getting out with dignity… it was all lined up,” Trump said.
“The Taliban were petrified of us, they were staying away. All you had to do was finish it up and take all the equipment out.”
Just minutes after the final US troops vacated Kabul’s airport late Tuesday, the Taliban stormed in — releasing footage of themselves inspecting the multiple Chinook helicopters, vehicles and weapons left behind following the mass evacuations.
Trump argued that “every screw, every nail” should have been taken.
“To leave that equipment, billions and billions of equipment, behind is insane,” he said. “It’s inconceivable – that equipment is going to be coming at us for many years.
“It should be bombed. We cannot let them have that equipment.”
Trump also argued that Biden should have kept the sprawling Bagram Airfield as he and his top advisors had planned to do.
“We were planning on keeping Bagram because of its relationship, its location to China. This is a $10 billion base that they built over years. It’s there. It’s in a perfect territory for us to have as an outpost,” Trump said.
The US vacated Bagram — which was its biggest airfield in Afghanistan — after 20 years last month.
After abandoning Bagram and as evacuations ramped up over the last two weeks, the US made Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport an American-controlled island.
Biden is set to address the nation later on Tuesday – nearly 24 hours after the final American troops departed Afghanistan.
The president has drawn fierce criticism for the chaotic withdrawal that — contrary to his public commitments — left behind US citizens who were seeking to leave.
“The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States,” Biden said in a statement on Monday after the withdrawal was complete.
Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended.”
Biden added that he “will address the American people on my decision not to extend our presence in Afghanistan beyond Aug. 31.”