Disturbing images continue to emerge from Afghanistan in the aftermath of a U.S. troop withdrawal that has led to bipartisan criticism of the Biden administration.
One recent example of the mounting backlash against Biden came in the form of an op-ed published by The Hill on Wednesday in which Brahma Chellaney accused the president of surrendering Afghanistan to terrorists.
“A conditions-based withdrawal”
The opinion piece came just days after the Taliban uprising was completed with a siege on the Afghanistan capital city of Kabul.
Chellaney began the op-ed by quoting Robert Gates, who served as secretary of defense under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
In 2014, Gates wrote that Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Adding to that harsh critique, Chellaney went on to accuse Biden of ignoring “the advice of his civilian and military advisers,” resulting in his culpability for “the international humiliation wrought on the United States by the terrorist capture of Afghanistan.”
He noted that the bipartisan Afghanistan Study Group “recommended a conditions-based withdrawal” of U.S. troops. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in this week to assert that the Trump administration would have pursued a withdrawal plan that would have avoided the chaos of the past days and weeks.
“Already wrecked by the Taliban”
The author also included a reference to a Director of National Intelligence report that explained: “The Taliban is likely to make gains on the battlefield, and the Afghan Government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support.”
Chellaney argued that Biden could have simply reduced the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to a number that would have allowed critical support to continue.
“That would have averted the disaster that has unfolded,” he wrote. “But Biden, seeking to imprudently safeguard a deal that had already been wrecked by the Taliban, ruled that option out.”
In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Biden withdrew American contractors who were servicing Afghanistan’s aircraft, dealing the Afghan military a crippling blow.
Biden’s conservative critics have long expressed outrage over his policies on hot-button issues like the border, gun control, and vaccine mandates. The tragic scenes unfolding in Afghanistan, however, might be enough for even some of his reluctant supporters to rethink their allegiances.