President Trump released a statement Sunday afternoon, criticizing Joe Biden’s planned September 11 withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11th as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan,” Trump said. “For two reasons. First, we can and should get out earlier. Nineteen years is enough, in fact, far too much and way too long.”
Trump then noted that he made early withdrawal possible by “already pulling much of our billions of dollars of equipment out” and reducing the United States’ military presence to fewer than 2,000 troops from the 16,000 that had been there.
“Secondly,” Trump continued, “September 11th represents a very sad event and period for our Country and should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost. Getting out of Afghanistan is a wonderful and positive thing to do. I planned to withdraw on May 1st, and we should keep as close to that schedule as possible.”
Joe Biden previously refused to commit to the May 1 deadline, telling ABC News George Stephanopoulos last month, “I’m in the process of making that decision now as to when they’ll leave. The fact is that — that was not a very solidly negotiated deal that [President Trump] worked out. And so we’re in consultation with our allies as well as the government. And — that decision’s gonna be – it’s in process now.”
Biden announced the extended September 11 deadline last week, most likely for symbolic reasons than strategic.
Former Defense Secretary (under Bush and Obama) Robert Gates called out Joe Biden’s lack of foreign policy credibility in his 2015 memoir, writing, “I think he’s been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”