Foreign policy and terrorism experts slammed President Joe Biden this week following his announcement that he was going to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, the anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history.
The New York Times reported that Biden ignored warnings from his own advisers that pulling out “could prompt a resurgence of the same terrorist threats that sent hundreds of thousands of troops into combat over the past 20 years.” Biden’s extension of the May 1 deadline set by former President Donald Trump was widely slammed by experts.
Northeastern University professor Max Abrams, an expert on terrorism, said that Biden “botched Afghanistan.”
“Any attacks against Americans after May 1 will be on him. If he foot drags on leaving after 9/11 he will also look bad & if we must return after that date he will look bad. We could have quietly packed up and left in accordance with the Doha deal,” Abrams said. “Imagine the optics if America is pulling out of Afghanistan on 9/11 under fire from the Taliban. This is such an avoidable shame.”
Imagine the optics if America is pulling out of Afghanistan on 9/11 under fire from the Taliban. This is such an avoidable shame.
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) April 14, 2021
“Afghanistan is going to fall into war when the US leaves,” Abrahms told The Daily Wire in a statement. “The Taliban is too strong compared to the government. But the extra 4 months won’t change that dynamic. The only thing that will change is that the Taliban will probably start shooting at us because we betrayed our word to leave on May 1.”
Politico noted that the decision “will likely prompt the Taliban to renew attacks on the roughly 3,500 American troops there, which have largely halted since the February 2020 agreement between the Trump administration and Taliban officials.” Former President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, warned in the past that Biden has a disastrous record when it comes to foreign policy and national security.
Terrorism analyst Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said that Biden handed the Taliban a major propaganda win.
“Choosing Sept. 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary, as the date all U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan, is a masterful propaganda stroke by the Taliban, and that will please its ally, Al Qaeda,” Roggio said. “Oh, wait, the Biden administration chose that date.”
Brad Bowman, senior director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said, “I give them credit for at least admitting they are ignoring conditions on the ground.”
I give them credit for at least admitting they are ignoring conditions on the ground. https://t.co/M0agUTQmPZ
— Brad Bowman (@Brad_L_Bowman) April 13, 2021
Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs blasted the Biden administration in a statement to The Daily Wire for having “more troops protecting the Capitol from mythical enemies than we currently have in Afghanistan protecting us from actual terrorists.”
“Stripping away all other aspects of the mission in Afghanistan so that we are only narrowly focused on counter-terrorism was the right thing to do,” Heinrichs said. “Suddenly going to zero brings significant risk, and announcing the date in advance means we could have a spate of violence against troops still there, and leaving on the anniversary of 9/11? It’s a gift to the Taliban.”
“This is just horrendous,” terrorism researcher Kyle Orton said. “The Biden people are clearly fine with the imminent collapse of Afghanistan‘s government and the reconquest by the Taliban. And to have Colin Powell (of all people) brought in to quote the Soviet example – as a positive! Lunacy.”
“John Sopko, the independent special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, warned Congress last month that U.S. withdrawal without a peace deal in place would be ‘a disaster’ and mean government collapse,” The Washington Post reported. “Others have warned of civil war, as regional warlords have amassed and armed their own forces.”
Biden’s highly controversial decision on Afghanistan comes as Russia is testing him in Eastern Europe, where they are amassing a large number of forces on Ukraine’s border. China has also shown numerous signs of increased aggression on issues ranging from Taiwan, the South China Sea, and relations with U.S. diplomats. Iran has managed to get the Biden administration crawling back to the table seeking a return to the controversial 2015 nuclear deal. North Korea has indicated that it is not interested in communicating with the Biden administration and has resumed weapons testing.
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