Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney says the fall of the American-backed Afghan government to the Taliban means groups such as Al Quaeda and ISIS will be free to use the South Asian nation as a base for operations.

The Republican also said Monday that "it didn't have to be this way." Cheney, who is a member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, made the comments on the ''CBS This Morning" program.  Among other things, she expressed concerns about what the fall of Afghanistan will mean for American National Security:

''Well, it is, of course, just catastrophic. It didn't have to be this way. And what concerns me most going forward from a national security perspective is the extent to which al Qaeda, ISIS, other terrorist organizations now have an entire country that the Taliban controls. We know 20 years ago the Taliban was hosting al Qaeda while they planned the attacks against us. I also am very concerned about the prisoners that have been released across the country. You've got prisoners that were released not only that are likely -- that will get back into the battle for the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan but will potentially populate terrorist organizations globally. So, we've really entered a very dangerous new phase now in the War on Terror, created an additional security situation and danger that we simply didn't need to create -- totally unnecessary.''

Cheney also said that an agreement negotiated by former President Trump with the Taliban for the withdrawal of American troops essentially amounted to a surrender of the country. But she said President Biden's handling of the situation then made it much worse:

''So, we had delegitimatized the Afghan government, cut them out, negotiated with the Taliban, a terrorist organization, signed an agreement with them. We never should have done that, but President Biden never should have withdrawn forces. I think, ultimately, when you look at how we got to this point, certainly there is sufficient blame on both sides, but this decision to just fundamentally withdraw really -- we're watching unfold what it looks like when America adopts a policy of retreat, when America adopts a policy of surrender. It makes us less safe, and it's going to make the war longer."

You can see the full interview here:


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