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Fmr Navy SEAL rips Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal after Mark Milley grilled on Capitol Hill: ‘Abject failure’

Senate candidate and former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy spoke with Fox News Digital about the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan.

FIRST ON FOX: Former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, a GOP rising star competing in the 2024 Montana Senate race, said the congressional hearing on the "very poorly" executed withdrawal from Afghanistan indicates that there remains no accountability for the 2021 event that "sent a message of weakness around the world."

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Gen. Kenneth McKenzie testified on Tuesday in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the Biden administration's deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.

Both generals agreed that more could have been done to prevent the chaos that unfolded as a result of the withdrawal, admitting that "the fundamental mistake, the fundamental flaw, was the timing of the State Department call" for the evacuation of U.S. citizens who remained in the country.

Sheehy, who received the Bronze Star with Valor for Heroism in Combat and the Purple Heart Medal, remains "proud" of his military service in Iraq, Afghanistan, South America and the Pacific region, but he told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview that "Afghanistan was an abject failure in every respect of everything that those organizations are charged to do."


"Our intelligence community and military are great organizations. I was a part of them for a long time. I'm proud of them. But we also have to be able to recognize our failures when they happen and call them that and then improve as an organization," Sheehy told Fox News Digital. "And Afghanistan was an abject failure in every respect of everything that those organizations are charged to do."


After the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban quickly took over Afghanistan's capital of Kabul and thousands of U.S. citizens and allies were left behind in a region controlled by a radical Islamist group. 

"Since what's happened there, with obviously the Taliban flying our helicopters all over the country, taking our weapons, we sent a message of weakness around the world," Sheehy said of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. 

The Senate candidate added that "no one's been held accountable" for the withdrawal, which began undergoing hearings by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in 2023. 

"We don't seem to have learned from that incident, and accountability has not yet been restored. We haven't had any generals get fired. No secretaries of state or defense get relieved. No one's been held accountable for that abject failure. And this hearing just proves that."

Milley noted during the hearing that the State Department was made aware of concerns over the withdrawal over a month before it was executed.

Sheehy agreed that the withdrawal was "handled very poorly," especially given that officials overseeing the operation were aware there was a strong likelihood of deadly repercussions that could follow. 

"There's a long list of things that could have been done. And I think the first thing you'll hear from a lot of these military officers is that they were overridden by the administration and the recommendations they made," Sheehy told Fox. "And we shouldn't have been telling everyone around the entire world we're going to be out by the state. Tactically, this was handled very poorly. And the people on the ground who knew how to do this properly from a tactical perspective, were not listened to."

Some Democrat lawmakers have pointed to the administration under former President Trump, who endorsed Sheehy in his Senate race to unseat Democrat Sen. Jon Tester, contributing to the withdrawal. Sheehy touched on the issue, saying the administration has a history of blaming Republicans for their "abject failures."

"You know, they did the exact same thing in Iraq. When Obama pulled us out there, they blamed it on Bush. You know, they always want to blame, the mistakes leading up to this on the previous guy. Just like they're blaming Ukraine somehow now on Trump," Sheehy said, defending the former President Trump. "They're giving billions of dollars to Iran and pulling us out of Afghanistan. And then, of course, when he actually does execute his invasion of Ukraine, somehow it's the fault of Republicans. So, you know, it's just it's unconscionable that they continue to blame their total abject failures on the previous administrations."

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House and State Department.

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