U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz has released a pair of ads blasting the Biden administration for its handling of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
The minute-long videos come a year after the hurried exit, which was brokered under former President Donald Trump and carried out by President Joe Biden. Kabul, the nation’s capital city, was overrun and captured by Taliban forces during the withdrawal.
The Biden administration has been criticized for the poor execution of the withdrawal, which resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. servicemembers as well as dozens of Afghan soldiers. The Trump administration has been criticized for failing to craft a coherent plan to safely evacuate Americans and Afghans from the country.
In both videos, Waltz, a Republican running for re-election in Florida’s 6th Congressional District, vows to hold Biden accountable for the botched exit. The first focuses on the lack of planning.
“You know, as we approach the one-year anniversary of the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle we knew this was going to devolve into absolute chaos. Those of us who had served knew this was going to happen this way. All of us veterans began demanding — start the evacuation now,” said Waltz, a U.S. Army Green Beret who currently serves as a Colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard.
The video cuts to footage of the withdrawal overlaid with contemporaneous soundbites of Waltz criticizing the withdrawal.
“What kind of accountability have we gotten from Joe Biden’s pentagon and his administration? Zero. Nothing. Despite all of this he’s still saying this was a massive success story. We have to have accountability. Joe Biden said this sits at his feet and at the end of the day we are going to hold him accountable,” Waltz says.
The second ad focuses on the current state of Afghanistan, with Waltz citing the intelligence community’s reports that “the rest Al Qaeda is still there and now we have ISIS” before turning to a 2021 clip of Waltz saying future American soldiers will need to return to Afghanistan and “fight their way through our own damn equipment.”
Waltz continues the thread in the new ad, saying “except this time we have no local allies. They’re being hunted down. We have no bases in the region. We have to get to the bottom of why these decisions were made. I am absolutely not going to wait and allow our homeland to get hit again.”
Waltz’ campaign said the ads are part of a six-figure digital ad buy in the Washington D.C. and Florida media markets.