Vice President Kamala Harris finally broke her silence on the Afghanistan debacle while in Singapore on Monday but refused to comment on President Biden’s disastrous decision to withdraw troops from the Taliban stronghold.
Both Harris and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong were asked point-blank about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the evacuation process. The vice president was asked what she thought went wrong.
“So, I understand and appreciate why you asked the question. And I think there’s going to be plenty of time to analyze what has happened and what has taken place in the context of the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” she deflected. “But right now, we are singularly focused on evacuating American citizens, Afghans who worked with us, and Afghans who are vulnerable, including women and children.”
She also contended that “we have a responsibility and we feel a deep commitment to making sure that folks who helped us are safe.”
(Video Credit: Forbes Breaking News)
Harris praised Biden for having “shown great emotion in expressing sadness about some of the images we have seen” while insisting that America cannot be “distracted in any way from what must be our primary mission right now, which is evacuating people from that region who deserve to be evacuated.”
Later on, during the press conference, Harris was again cornered on the withdrawal from Afghanistan. She was asked whether she was in agreement with Biden’s decisions. The vice president remarked that “there will be and should be a robust analysis of what has happened” but reiterated that “right now, there is no question that our focus has to be on evacuating American citizens.”
Lee was queried on the United States’ credibility given what has transpired in Afghanistan. He said it all depends on how the U.S. is perceived in the future.
“What will influence perceptions of U.S. resolve and commitment to the region will be what the U.S. does going forward: how it repositions itself in the region, how it engages its broad range of friends and partners and allies in the region, and how it continues the fight against terrorism,” Lee posited.
“Countries make calculations and take positions, and they have to make recalculations and adjust their positions from time to time,” he added. “Sometimes it can be done smoothly; sometimes there are hiccups. Sometimes things go awry and take time to put right.”
The prime minister also mentioned Singapore’s past involvement in Afghanistan. He noted that Singapore Armed Forces had assisted international forces in Afghanistan and his country had also sent teams to help with reconstruction.
Lee stated that he understands why Biden withdrew and offered the use of the Singapore Air Force’s Airbus 330 Multi-Role Tanker and Transporter for use in airlifting people out of Afghanistan.
Harris is in Singapore to assure Asian allies that the United States remains strong and committed to them. She pointed to a series of agreements that have been reached with Singapore on cybersecurity, climate, and public health as evidence that the U.S. is committed to honoring agreements with longstanding security partners in the region.
“Today we are in Singapore to stress and reaffirm our enduring relationship to this country and in this region, and to reinforce a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region and to reaffirm our mutual interests in peace and stability in Southeast Asia,” Harris proclaimed in damage control mode.
Lee emphasized the importance of the United States’ role as a “regional guarantor of security and support of prosperity” over the past seven decades in Asia despite “difficult moments” along the way.
Harris did not help her cause when she laughed while being asked about Americans trapped in Kabul when she arrived in Singapore. She then cut the reporter off and didn’t bother to address the issue further.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 23, 2021
During her visit on Monday afternoon to Changi Naval Base, Harris thanked U.S. troops who are still deployed to Afghanistan while emphasizing that the Indo-Pacific region is the key to America’s future interests, according to Bloomberg.
Vice President Harris found nothing but contempt from conservatives on social media:
Is it time for a prominent Democrat to confess that the plan to back-door Kamala Harris into the presidency has shit the bed so hard it damaged the box springs?
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) August 23, 2021
I think her focus is when am I going to be president
— Camillo Lombardi (@morcone67) August 23, 2021
The focus should have been getting the Americans out first before the troops were ever evacuated, she doesn’t have a clue either!
— Roger Smith (@RogerSm10) August 23, 2021
Nothing shows strong leadership like stating the obvious after a week of silence
— el conservador (@elconservadorr) August 23, 2021
In other words, we don’t want to be held accountable for how badly we screwed this up. Just like the border. Throw in rising crime & inflation & there 0-4.
— Nobody Just an American (@NobodyJustanAm1) August 23, 2021
Too bad this “Lazer Focus” wasn’t available last week
— Gary Phillips (@garyphillips) August 23, 2021
True leaders need to have fast and clear responses, yours is to late. @KamalaHarris
— Michael Brogan (@BroganBrogs55) August 23, 2021
— Edu_Ceos (@edu_ceos) August 23, 2021
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