President Biden in remarks at the White House Tuesday suggested Donald Trump was to blame for the disaster that has unfolded in Afghanistan:
My predecessor, the former President, signed an agreement with the Taliban to remove U.S. troops by May the 1st, just months after I was inaugurated. It included no requirement that the Taliban work out a cooperative governing arrangement with the Afghan government, but it did authorize the release of 5,000 prisoners last year, including some of the Taliban’s top war commanders, among those who just took control of Afghanistan.
And by the time I came to office, the Taliban was in its strongest military position since 2001, controlling or contesting nearly half of the country.
The previous administration’s agreement said that if we stuck to the May 1st deadline that they had signed on to leave by, the Taliban wouldn’t attack any American forces, but if we stayed, all bets were off.
So we were left with a simple decision: Either follow through on the commitment made by the last administration and leave Afghanistan, or say we weren’t leaving and commit another tens of thousands more troops going back to war.
Tens of thousands of troops? Nobody is suggesting that was needed, other than Biden.
Biden was utterly defiant. No apologies for what is happening. Not only did he blame Trump, he blamed the Afghans too, whose air cover he had removed:
The assumption was that more than 300,000 Afghan National Security Forces that we had trained over the past two decades and equipped would be a strong adversary in their civil wars with the Taliban.
That assumption — that the Afghan government would be able to hold on for a period of time beyond military drawdown — turned out not to be accurate.
Typical Washington garbage. The buck stops here. And now, I’d like to pass the buck.