Pennsylvania Republican Sean Parnell on Friday praised American troops for their service in Afghanistan and blamed the “suits” for what he described as a “debacle” amid Taliban forces quickly taking over much of the country.
Parnell, a decorated Army veteran who served in combat in Afghanistan for 16 months, has faulted President Joe Biden and current military generals for the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan without leaving any diplomatic presence, as had previously been the administration’s goal.
“To our troops who fought in the Afghan War: You did your job. You did it well. You defeated the enemies of America at every turn. You gave the Afghans a shot at freedom. Be proud of your service because America is proud of you,” Parnell said. “This Afghan debacle is on the suits. Not the boots”:
To our troops who fought in the Afghan War:
You did your job. You did it well. You defeated the enemies of America at every turn.
You gave the Afghans a shot at freedom. Be proud of your service because America is proud of you.
This Afghan debacle is on the suits. Not the boots.
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) August 13, 2021
As the Taliban has swiftly advanced through the country, Parnell has been voicing his disapproval of Biden setting a symbolic U.S. troop withdrawal date of September 11 in the spring, contending the date gave the Taliban time to organize its seizure of the capital city of Kabul, which now appears imminent, according to multiple reports.
The Pennsylvania Republican also appeared Thursday on Fox News and charged that military generals were at fault for prioritizing social issues over on-the-ground military strategy.
“For the last seven months, I’ve watched generals engage in Twitter fights with people, debate the merits of Critical Race Theory on Capitol Hill,” he said. “It seemed like our generals were more concerned with fighting Tucker Carlson than they were the Taliban, and we are seeing the tragic and disastrous consequences of that play on the battlefield right now.”
Biden, who has pushed ahead the date for U.S. troop withdrawal from September 11 to the end of August, issued a statement on Saturday blaming former President Donald Trump for the Taliban’s successful surge through Afghanistan.
“When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor … that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001,” the president said.
Parnell is now running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania in hopes of replacing retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). The Army veteran initially ran for Congress in his first-ever bid for office in 2020 and narrowly lost to Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA). The two could be gearing up for a rematch after Lamb formally announced this month he is abandoning his congressional seat in exchange for a Senate run.
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