Is Trump right to blame Biden for 'tragic mess in Afghanistan?'


Fact Box

  • On April 15, 2021, President Biden announced the withdrawing the remaining US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. He stated, “It’s time to end America’s longest war… but not conduct a hasty rush to the exit.” 
  • On August 13, 2021, former President Trump criticized Biden in a statement, saying, “tragic mess in Afghanistan, a completely open and broken border, Crime at record levels, oil prices through the roof, inflation rising, and taken advantage of by the entire world.” 
  • As the US exits Afghanistan, the Taliban has reportedly taken ‘four more provincial capitals,” giving them control of two thirds of the country. Critics worry the withdrawal “not only imperils US counterterrorism efforts, but that it also endangers Afghanistan’s fragile democracy.”
  • On February 29, 2020, the US and the Taliban reached an “agreement for bringing peace” under the Trump administration. They had agreed to remove US troops in 14 months provided the militants banned al-Qaeda and extremist groups from areas of Taliban control. 
  • Although troops will be removed, Biden said the US “will assist Afghan forces, diplomatic, and humanitarian work in the country.” 
  • Since the start of the war in 2001, 2,312 US military personnel have died and 20,066 service members have been injured.

Andrew (No)

Multiple tweets from former President Trump saying things such as, 'We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money—rebuild the US,' sound very different from the criticisms he is currently making. Never one to let facts or his own history stand in the way, former President Trump has wrongly criticized President Biden's difficult decision to end the long-running boondoggle in Afghanistan. Ironically, Trump is criticizing Biden for doing exactly what Trump suggested needed to be done; withdrawing from Afghanistan and focusing on rebuilding the US. This very week President Biden is withdrawing troops and making historic progress on two major infrastructure bills, both things Former President Trump promised and failed miserably to deliver.

While it is a difficult decision that will create pain and instability, leaving Afghanistan is correct. Multiple generations of families have served in America's longest-running war, which began in 2001. Afghanistan has a long history of bitter conflicts ending in stalemate; it simply doesn't make sense to stay any longer. As President Biden has said, the Afghans need to take charge of their own destiny now. Our military and state-building actions have stalled, and it is questionable whether the United States should even be attempting to impose our own systems of government on such a radically different culture. While this will create pain in the short term, it is worth noting the US will continue to supply air support, funds for salaries, and supplies for Afghan forces to aid the transition. President Biden has faced the tough question of if not now, when. Trump is wrong to criticize such action.


Antonio (Yes) 

President Biden made a politically motivated decision to hastily withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, which has resulted in the rapid takeover of much of the country by Taliban forces. As the Taliban has moved across the country, they have begun to implement strict Sharia Law on women. There have been reports of recent executions, torture, and rape. Women are being told they can no longer leave their homes without a male relative, and girls' schools across the countries are being shuttered.

Yes, the Biden Administration is to blame, but President Trump planned on pulling all US troops out of Afghanistan as well. Not for tactical reasons or because we were undergoing mass casualties, but to placate parts of their base calling for the end of 'forever wars,' saying things like 'the US is not the world's policeman.' But in a sense, we are the 'world's policeman.' As the most powerful country on the planet, we should embrace that role of leadership. We should do it for our own security and the security of our allies. We should also do it because if we don't, someone else will fill that role, most likely China or Russia. 

Unfortunately, the war against radical Islam is a 'forever war.' We are not simply fighting the Taliban, or al-Qaeda, or ISIS. We are fighting a religious ideology that wants to see the destruction of Western civilization. We are fighting an ideology that calls Israel the 'Little Satan' and the United States the 'Great Satan.' We did not win in Afghanistan, and we will be back, just not at a time of our choosing.

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