Colorado’s Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck said the United States should seek to make Afghanistan as safe a country for terrorists as countries like Somalia and Yemen.
The puzzling remark came during a debate with his Democratic opponent, Michael Bennet, last week.
“The first thing I think we need to do is to make sure that Afghanistan is not a safe haven for terrorists,” Buck stated. “And when I say safe haven, I’m not talking about that there isn’t a possibility of a terrorist in Afghanistan. I’m saying that when you look at other countries similarly situated — Somalia, Yemen, other countries — that Afghanistan is at least as safe as those countries.”
His comments left observers perplexed, and wondering about his depth of foreign policy knowledge.
“Buck’s standard is certainly perplexing considering that the terrorist activity in Somalia and Yemen practically make them the antonym of ‘safe haven,’” quipped Tanya Somanader at Think Progress.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since the 1990s and pro-government military forces recently had to retreat after the terrorist group Al Shabaab launched an attack on the town of Belet-hawo.
More than 50,000 Somalis have abandoned their homes and fled to refugee camps located in neighboring Kenya, according to the United Nations.
Last Thursday, Al Shabaab executed two teenage girls in front of hundreds of spectators after they were found guilty of spying for government soldiers, Telegraph reports.
During the debate, Buck also claimed the United States has “the wrong policy in Afghanistan” and that “it is a mistake to set a timetable to tell your enemy when you’re leaving.”