Biden blames Trump administration for troubled US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan « Khabarhub
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Biden blames Trump administration for troubled US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

07 April 2023  

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WASHINGTON: United States President Joe Biden has blamed Donald Trump’s administration for troubled US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, according to a document released by the White House.

In a 12-page document, the Biden administration said, “President Biden’s choices for how to execute a withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor.”

John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, said that Biden inherited a depleted operation in Afghanistan from Trump that crippled the US response.

“Transitions matter. That’s the first lesson learned here. And the incoming administration wasn’t afforded much of one,” Kirby told reporters.

Biden was left with a stark choice: withdraw all US forces or resume fighting with the Taliban.

“Clearly we didn’t get it right,” Kirby said, but he sidestepped questions about whether Biden has any regrets for his decisions and actions leading up to the withdrawal.

The document recalled the year 2017 when Trump took the office, at that time there were more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan but eighteen months later, after introducing more than 3,000 additional troops to just maintain the stalemate, President Trump ordered direct talks with the Taliban without consulting with any of the allies or the partners.

“In September 2019, President Trump emboldened the Taliban by publicly considering inviting them to Camp David on the anniversary of 9/11.

In February 2020, the United States and the Taliban reached a deal, known as the Doha Agreement, under which the United States agreed to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by May 2021.

In return, theTaliban agreed to participate in a peace process and refrain from attacking US troops and threatening Afghanistan’s major cities–but only as long as the United States remained committed to withdrawing by the agreement’s deadline,” the statement read.

The statement revealed that the former US President pressurised the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban fighters from prison, including senior war commanders, without securing the release of the only American hostage known to be held by the Taliban.

The report, which was led by the National Security Council, says as a result of the Afghanistan experience, US policy has been adjusted to speed up evacuations when safety conditions are deteriorating.

According to the official document, in his last 11 months in office, Trump ordered a series of drawdowns of US troops and by June 2020, he reduced the US troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 and in September, 4,500.

“On September 28, 2021, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley testified that, on November 11, he had received an unclassified signed order directing the US military to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan no later than January 15, 2021,” the statement read.

However, a week later, that order was rescinded and replaced with one to draw down to 2,500 troops by the same date.

“During the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration, the 2 outgoing Administrations provided no plans for how to conduct the final withdrawal or to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies. Indeed, there were no such plans in place when President Biden came into office, even with the agreed-upon full withdrawal just over three months away,” the statement revealed.

“As a result, when President Biden took office on January 20, 2021, the Taliban were in the strongest military position that they had been in since 2001, controlling or contesting nearly half of the country,” the statement added.

Republicans in Congress have sharply criticized the Afghanistan withdrawal, focusing on the deaths of 13 service members in a suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport, which also killed more than 100 Afghans.

On August 31, the US completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan after a huge but chaotic airlift that cost the lives of 13 American troops and left behind thousands of Afghans and hundreds of army members still seeking an escape from Taliban rule. (ANI)

Publish Date : 07 April 2023 07:45 AM

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