Predictably, Republicans criticized President Joe Biden’s announced plan to withdraw the remaining US troops in Afghanistan by September 11th, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, even though they praised a plan signed by Donald Trump to pull troops out by May 1st.
As the Washington Post reports, Republicans have said that precipitously withdrawing US troops is essentially a surrender to America’s enemies. However, many of these same GOP leaders praised an agreement with the Taliban, signed by Trump on February 29, 2020, that pledged to have all troops out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. Biden announced soon after taking office that the US would not be able to meet that commitment.
Trump, however, reportedly pushed to have the majority US troops withdrawn from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia by the time he left office on January 20, 2021, a plan which was blasted by some Republican leaders. The two month plan would’ve severely exposed remaining American troops to attack.
Biden’s plan, which allows for a five-month timeframe for about 3,000 US troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, has met with
“Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. It is a retreat in the face of an enemy,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor. “Foreign terrorists will not leave the United States alone simply because our politicians have grown tired of taking the fight to them.”