Former US President Donald Trump has responded to clear accusations by President Joe Biden about the Republican leader’s role in Afghanistan, where Taliban is increasingly capturing more land across the country.
“After I took out ISIS [Daesh], I established a credible deterrent. That deterrent is now gone. The Taliban no longer has fear or respect for America, or America’s power,” Trump said in a statement after the Democratic president directly pointed the finger at him over his role in Afghanistan’s situation today.
The billionaire businessman claimed he had a “plan” for leaving war ravaged Afghanistan, which Biden should have followed.
“He ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him—a plan that protected our people and our property, and ensured the Taliban would never dream of taking our Embassy or providing a base for new attacks against America. The withdrawal would be guided by facts on the ground,” he said.
‘Taliban flag over America’s Embassy’
During his tenure, Trump said he wanted all US troops out of Afghanistan by May 1 but that never materialized.
Biden had asserted hours earlier that Trump left Afghanistan "in the strongest position militarily since 2001,” when he left office in 2020.
“When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on US forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew US forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500,” Biden claimed.
He further argued that Trump had left him no choice but to either withdraw Western forces or send more “to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict.”
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump vowed to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, a promised also made by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Twenty years after the invasion of Afghanistan by US and its allies, Taliban is gaining more grounds in the country amid concerns by the Afghan people.
“This is complete failure through weakness, incompetence, and total strategic incoherence,” Trump said. “What a disgrace it will be when the Taliban raises their flag over America’s Embassy in Kabul.”
The American flag had reportedly been taken down at the embassy and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was said to have left the country.
Prior to leaving office, the Trump administration reached an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw American troops, with the president confidently announcing that, "If bad things happen, we'll go back with a force like no one's ever seen."
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country back then, it is ending with the return of the group to power.