Cheney on Biden’s Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal: ‘Wars Don’t End When One Side Abandons the Fight’
President Biden has announced that the United States will fully withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, which is, of course, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack that rocked the United States in 2001, leaving hundreds dead and a nation in mourning.
Though the Trump administration reached a deal with the Taliban to complete a full withdrawal by May 1, President Biden has said that it will be ‘hard to meet’ the deadline, but that the troop drawdown will at least begin by May 1.
A Senior Administration official with the Biden Administration said that this decision came after a three-month Afghanistan policy review. The official stated that the national security threat from Afghanistan is at a ‘level that we can address it without a persistent military footprint in the country and without being at war with the Taliban.’
While many people view the idea of ending the two-decade long war with Afghanistan as a good thing, the decision to pull troops out of the country does have its critics.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney is one of them.
Cheney issued a statement on Tuesday, condemning the idea of pulling out troops.
“Wars don’t end when one side abandons the fight,” Cheney wrote.
"Withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan by September 11 will only embolden the very jihadists who attacked our homeland on that day twenty years ago," she said. "By declaring that this withdrawal is not based on conditions on the ground, the Biden Administration is sending a dangerous signal that the United States fundamentally does not understand—or is willfully ignorant of—the terrorist threat.”
Cheney continued, stating that “President Biden’s decision hands the Taliban and al Queda a propaganda victory, abandons our global leadership position, and plays into our adversaries’ hands. As we saw with President Obama’s reckless decision to pull troops out of Iraq in 2011, retreat does not end the fight against terrorism. It merely gives our enemies more room to reconstitute and plot attacks against the homeland.”
Whether those ideas are true has yet to be seen, but Cheney isn’t the only Republican criticizing Biden’s decision.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the move ‘a disaster in the making.’
In a statement, Graham said that “a full withdrawal from Afghanistan is dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous,” because alliteration is fun.
He continued, saying that “President Biden will have, in essence, cancelled an insurance policy against another 9/11.”
That’s not entirely true, however.
According to NBC News, the U.S. will maintain military assets in the region, to counteract terrorism threats. They will also hold the Taliban to its commitments, which include severing all ties with the terrorist organization of al Queda.
Biden’s Senior Administration Official said that any attack by the Taliban on U.S. or allied forces as the drawdown is in progress will be ‘met with a forceful response.’
Time will tell when it comes to this decision but, like many of Biden’s strategies, if he’s looking for approval from Republicans, he’s not going to find it.