On Thursday, U.S. Army veteran and Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell criticized President Joe Biden and U.S. generals for their handling of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and other controversies such as criticism from Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
In an appearance with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Parnell — who led an Army infantry platoon in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2007 — accused U.S. generals of focusing too much of their attention on defending controversial racial training programs in the military and high-profile Twitter exchanges with Tucker Carlson, rather than effectively handling the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“For the last seven months, I’ve watched generals engage in Twitter fights with people, debate the merits of critical race theory on Capitol Hill,” Parnell said. “It seems like our generals were more concerned with fighting Tucker Carlson than they were the Taliban and we are seeing the tragic and disastrous consequences of that play out on the battlefield right now.”
Parnell’s comments come after several U.S. military generals and other senior leaders criticized Carlson in March for questioning their priorities after the military announced new maternity flight suits for pregnant female service members. Parnell’s criticism of critical race theory also follows the Navy’s decision to include racially charged reading materials on its official reading list and after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Congress in June that he feels critical race theory “is important” and he wants to “understand white rage.”
Parnell offered his criticism as the Taliban have made rapid territorial gains during the ongoing U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. As of Friday, the Taliban have captured at least 17 out of the 34 Afghan provincial capitals in the span of a week.
Earlier in the interview, Parnell — who in May announced his plans to run in 2022 to replace Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey — said Trump deserves “a lot of credit” for initiating the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“But Trump’s plan was very different from what Joe Biden is doing,” Parnell said. “Trump has a phased withdrawal that was supposed to be based on conditions on the ground in order to move onto a next phase. Trump was engaged with regional leaders in the area. Joe Biden has been president for seven months and he still hasn’t had a conversation with the prime minister of Pakistan.”
“I think this is the most egregious thing,” Parnell added, “Joe Biden pushed our withdrawal date back to September 11th for strictly political reasons, and why did that matter? Because it gave the Taliban the time and the space to consolidate and reorganize and plan an attack on Kabul.”
Parnell, who received the Purple Heart during his time in Afghanistan, said “My men in Afghanistan bled the ground red.”
Parnell concluded his remarks by saying, “To the soldiers, you did your job, you sacrificed, you fought, you gave the people of Afghanistan a shot for freedom and it’s important for the American people to hear this, we need to blame the suits for this tragic failure and not the boots.”