President Joe Biden has offered his most forceful defense yet of the nation’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, a withdrawal that most Americans support. At the same time, some of Donald Trump’s own top advisers are blaming Trump for much of the chaos now occurring in Afghanistan.
Trump made a deal in February 2020 for the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan in return for Taliban promises not to harbor terrorists and to engage in their first direct negotiations with the Afghan government. Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, attended the signing ceremony in Doha and posed for a photo alongside the Taliban leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, which resurfaced this week on social media. Baradar is widely expected to become the head of a new Taliban government based in Kabul.
As Trump and his supporters are blaming President Joe Biden for the rushed evacuation at the airport in Kabul and other aspects of the troop withdrawal, those who were once in his inner circle are now speaking out and blaming Trump for the plan’s failure.
Trump has suggested broadly that he would have overseen “a much different and much more successful withdrawal,” even though in the closing months of his presidency, he repeatedly pressured his generals and national security aides to accelerate the process. He also has claimed that he would have ensured mass evacuations from Afghanistan, even though aides say he never focused on the issue.
Ok, since no one seems to know any of the history of Afghanistan before this week, a refresher:
2/29/20: There are 13,000 US troops there. Trump reaches deal with Taliban. Agrees Afghanistan Gov, which is not part of deal, will release 5,000 Taliban fighters. Requires Taliban…1
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) August 20, 2021
“Can anyone even imagine taking out our military before evacuating civilians and others who have been good to our country and who should be allowed to seek refuge?” Mr. Trump said in a statement on Monday.
Sounds like after Trump released 5000 Taliban from prison, thousands of people were trying to get out of Afghanistan but Trump all but shut down the visa program because he and Stephen Miller didn't want people from "shithole countries" coming to America.
Did I get that right?See Also
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) August 21, 2021
The Trump administration’s processing of applications by Afghans eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa, under a program created by Congress to resettle Afghans who had assisted the U.S. military, moved at a pace that frustrated refugee rights activists. In 2018, the International Refugee Assistance Project filed a lawsuit against Pompeo and other U.S. officials, accusing them of “systemic delays” in approving such visas.
Former advisers and staffers such as John Bolton, H.R. McMaster, and Mark Esper have all spoken to the many failures of the Trump Administration. MSNBC’s Ari Melber devoted a segment of his show on Friday to breaking it all down. Watch his take, below.