This morning, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) joined Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino on America’s Newsroom to discuss the special forces raid that killed ISIS leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, and reports that the Biden Administration failed to plan for their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Read highlights of the conversation below, or click HERE to watch the full interview.
On the raid and the need to maintain counter-terrorism capabilities in the Middle East:
“It’s a good thing. I commend the administration and our men and women in uniform for successfully carrying out this operation…and I think this is an important reminder that as we start to focus on China, our biggest long term threat, and as we try and deal with the threat posed by Russia and Ukraine, we can’t take our eye off the ball in the Middle East. We still have terrorist groups that pose a threat to the US homeland, and the threat from Salafi jihadism, more broadly, I fear is going to grow worse in the wake of our embarrassing surrender in Afghanistan. It will also grow worse if this administration gets back into the Iran deal, which will create chaos in the Middle East. The Middle East is something you ignore at your own peril, even as we recognize that the Indo-Pacific is a more important region. But by and large, this is a good operation. I’m glad no one was hurt, and that we got this guy.”
On the Biden Administration’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal:
“The President is still unrepentant about his actions in Afghanistan. A few weeks ago, he said, ‘I don’t apologize for anything’ in Afghanistan. And that’s really what worries me. Shocks happen to every administration, mistakes are made. You have to learn from those mistakes. But this administration seems intent on pushing full steam with this approach. And I think it’s fair to say, our weakness in Afghanistan and the collapse of our position there is undermining our posture in other areas of the world like Ukraine, and I fear in the long term with China.”
On the threat of increased terrorist activity in the region:
“Well, we know that it will increase our problem with terrorist groups more broadly. Remember, President Biden lied when he said that Al Qaeda was not present in Afghanistan when they tried to justify pulling out. Al Qaeda helped the Taliban takeover Kabul. While these groups compete in various domains over various geography, sometimes they cooperate, sometimes they don’t. I think the success of the Salafi jihadist movement draws recruits globally into the region. And so that’s what I’m worried about, as well as the fact that we now know that this concept of ‘over the horizon counterterrorism’, which is also how they sold the plot in Afghanistan, was a lie. It’s a mirage. It’s not happening right now on the ground. So that’s going to limit our ability to get after these groups.”