Tuesday, April 11, 2023

A Hobson's Choice on Afghanistan



On a positive note, here the GOP is avoiding the red herring of blaming the administration of President Joe Biden for what has been trumpeted, largely unfairly, as a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. On a negative note, the Party has a very bad memory.

 


A fact check conducted by the Annenberg Center on Public Policy in August, 2021 found

The Trump administration in February 2020 negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban that excluded the Afghan government, freed 5,000 imprisoned Taliban soldiers and set a date certain of May 1, 2021, for the final withdrawal.

And the Trump administration kept to the pact, reducing U.S. troop levels from about 13,000 to 2,500, even though the Taliban continued to attack Afghan government forces and welcomed al-Qaeda terrorists into the Taliban leadership.

Biden delayed the May 1 withdrawal date that he inherited. But ultimately his administration pushed ahead with a plan to withdraw by Aug. 31, despite obvious signs that the Taliban wasn’t complying with the agreement and had a stated goal to create an “Islamic government” in Afghanistan after the U.S. left, even if it meant it had to “continue our war to achieve our goal.”

President Trump wanted to get the USA out of Afghanistan but advisers counseled against it. As a result, he split the baby, freeing Taliban soldiers, negotiating a withdrawal behind the back of Kabul, and reportedly "all but froze" the Special Immigrant Visa Program. Then he avoided withdrawing from Afghanistan, leaving a terrible situation for President Biden.... which for Donald J. Trump amounts to "mission accomplished."




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