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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin campaigns at a VFW barbecue in Cranford on September 8, 2018 (New Jersey Globe Photo).

Hugin slams Biden, Kim on Taliban surge in Afghanistan

DiMaso, possible Kim opponent, criticizes New Jersey congressman

By David Wildstein, August 15 2021 3:02 pm

Update: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani relinquished power to an interim government headed by the Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, on Sunday.

New Jersey Republican State Chairman Bob Hugin lambasted President Joe Biden for allowing the Taliban to edge closer to gaining control of Afghanistan and Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) for not saying anything about it.

“This is a sad and disastrous day for the United States,” said Hugin, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, in a statement on Sunday.  “The fact that nearly 20 years after the attacks of September 11th, the Biden Administration would allow the heinous and oppressive regime that harbored the terrorists who committed those attacks to re-take Afghanistan, threaten American personnel and our allies, and commit atrocities against women is an appalling and outrageous dereliction of duty.”

The fall of Mazar-e-Sharif, the fourth-largest city in Afghanistan, came less than three weeks before the Biden administration’s planned troop withdrawal from the region.

“This is damaging to America’s reputation in the world, it’s harmful to our allies and is a colossal foreign policy blunder of the highest order,” Hugin said.

Hugin is attempting to link Kim, a former White House aide was the National Security Council’s Iraq director, to the Biden administration’s policies.

“What’s equally appalling and outrageous is the fact that Congressman Andy Kim, who proclaims himself to be a national security expert, and who represents a district home to countless active duty service-members and veterans, has been completely and totally silent on this disastrous failure,” Hugin stated.  “His silence and failure of leadership is second only to that of Joe Biden’s.”

Kim served in Afghanistan as a civilian advisor to two Army generals, David Petraeus and John Allen as a U.S. Department of State staffer.

He is one of five House Democrats running for re-election in a district that Donald Trump won in 2020, although the composition of the 3rd congressional district can change in redistricting.

Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Holmdel), who is considering a challenge to Kim in 2002, used Twitter to sharply criticize Kim on the issue.

“The fact that Andy Kim holds himself up as a security expert but stands by silently is horrifying, the men (and) women who protect our country deserve better,” DiMaso said.  “We all do.”

Updated at 4:45 P with comment from DiMaso.

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