As the Taliban claimed victory on Sunday in America’s longest war, critics slammed U.S. President Joe Biden over Afghanistan’s stunning collapse.
While Biden has remained defiant over his decision to withdraw American forces, some say he made a mistake by ignoring the advice of generals to ditch Donald Trump’s peace deal and keep some troops in the country.
Under Trump’s peace deal with the Taliban, all troops were required to leave by May 1, according to The Daily Wire.
“It’s far worse”
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Biden, rather than renegotiate Trump’s plan, ignored counsel from commanders that he keep about 2,500 troops in the country and pressed on with a complete withdrawal.
Critics have said Biden’s decision set the stage for disaster after Kabul fell to the Taliban on Sunday, forcing U.S. personnel to make a hasty evacuation that brought comparisons to the fall of Saigon.
“I think that he ignored the advice of his military leaders,” Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (WY), who also faulted Trump, said, according to The Hill. “This isn’t Saigon. It’s far worse.”
Biden, who dismissed the possibility of a humiliating Taliban victory only weeks ago, has acknowledged that Afghanistan collapsed faster than he expected, and as of Monday, Biden had ordered 7,000 troops back into the country to finish the evacuation, the Washington Examiner reported.
Biden doubles down, blames Trump
Still, Biden has maintained that he made the right call. In a speech Monday, he said that Afghanistan’s quick unraveling demonstrated the futility of America’s mission there.
“I know my decision will be criticized, but I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to a future president,” Biden said, according to CNBC.
Despite his pretense of modesty, Biden is in effect seeking all of the credit for ending a war that has long since fallen out of favor with the American public without accepting any blame for the chaotic withdrawal, which he has laid at the feet of Trump, who Biden claims left the Taliban in a position of strength.
Biden has also slammed the Afghans for lacking the will to defend their country. “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” Biden said Monday, according to a White House transcript.
As the Washington Examiner reports, Trump, for his part, has said that the “grossly incompetent” way Biden ended the war is the problem, not that it ended.