Sullivan Warns America’s Adversaries Will “Test” Biden Administration Following Afghanistan Debacle

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino on Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom this morning to discuss the aftermath of the Biden administration’s full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan on Monday, with hundreds of Americans still in the Taliban-controlled country. In the interview, Sen. Sullivan warned that America’s adversaries, like Russia and China, will likely “test” the United States following the botched withdrawal.

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HEMMER: In the meantime, Dan Sullivan joins us from Anchorage, Alaska.

PERINO: Let's get your reaction today as you wake up very early in Alaska and what you're hearing from your constituents there. 

SULLIVAN: The President continues his holiday from reality and his inability to take responsibility for what clearly is one of the biggest foreign policy fiascos our country has seen in decades and particularly—and you're all focused on it—we're focused on this issue of leaving hundreds of Americans stranded behind Taliban lines. It's something that I feel. Americans feel it. Certainly, Dana, to your point, my constituents feel it. You feel sick. I never thought we would see our government, our President leave people in the most dangerous place in the world and then call it a success. In Alaska, we have more veterans per capita than any state in the country. My constituents are furious. They want answers, they want accountability and so do I as a senator. 

HEMMER: We were talking about the [Congressman] Mike Gallagher requests that were shot down by Democrats yesterday. Here he was talking about it last hour. 

GALLAGHER: What the Taliban wants is to humiliate us. They have beaten us on the battlefield because we surrendered preemptively. We have no leverage, and for the President to go on TV last night and to call this an extraordinary success was shameful. It will go down as the lie of the decade. 

HEMMER: You probably feel the same way. Sentiments are probably mutual with you there in Anchorage on that. Do you think you'll get any guarantees from this administration as for the clean-up after this?

SULLIVAN: What I've been asking for weeks is why did we have this August 31 deadline in the first place and, particularly, if we could have moved it to get American citizens out safely. That should have been the administration's number one goal. I have not gotten one answer from anybody in the White House (or) senior levels of the Department of Defense. The only answer that we could come up with is the President, when he put this August 31 deadline out there, the Taliban called it their “red line.” And, unfortunately, it looks like the President bent the knee to the Taliban and said, ‘We're going to keep your deadline and forsake American citizens.’ So I agree with Congressman Gallagher. It’s shameful and it's going to go down in history as a huge blunder. But, as you know, there are going to be major foreign policy consequences that flow from this bad decision.

PERINO: Dan, can I ask you about that? My last question for you is, given your experience at the National Security Council before you were a senator, what are your concerns in terms of their ability to coordinate across all of these different agencies with the possible daylight between some of them, especially the Defense Department and the White House?

SULLIVAN: I think the number one thing we still have to focus on—this administration, but certainly Congress (as well)—is accountability. Holding hearings. Who made decisions when. But (also) getting our citizens out safely. As Congressman Gallagher mentioned, we have lost almost all of our leverage when the U.S. military departed. And, again, (it is) really a sickening feeling that we had 6,000 Marines and soldiers who were ready to go do that kind of mission to save our citizens. They have now departed. We don't have leverage, but here's something else we need to be very focused on. Our adversaries are going to be testing the United States of America after this debacle—whether it's Russia in the Baltics, China and Taiwan, or Iran with regard to threatening Israel. This administration better be ready and they better be strong because that is coming next.

HEMMER: Thank you, Senator. Dan Sullivan live from Anchorage this morning. 

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