Vice President Mike Pence ripped Joe Biden in a new op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday night. Pence called Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan “a foreign-policy humiliation unlike anything our country has endured since the Iran hostage crisis.”
“In recent days, the world has watched panicked civilians cling to U.S. military aircraft in a desperate attempt to escape the chaos unleashed by Mr. Biden’s reckless retreat,” Pence wrote. “American diplomats had to beg our enemies not to storm our embassy in Kabul. Taliban fighters have seized scores of American military vehicles, rifles, artillery, aircraft, helicopters and drones.”
He said the Biden administration “has embarrassed America on the world stage, caused allies to doubt our dependability, and emboldened enemies to test our resolve. Worst of all, it has dishonored the memory of the heroic Americans who helped bring terrorists to justice after 9/11, and all who served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years.”
Pence then explained how Biden went wrong. The agreement reached with the Taliban in February 2020 required the Taliban to end all attacks on our troops, refuse safe harbor for terrorists, and negotiate with Afghan leaders on creating a new government. As long as the Taliban lived up to these conditions, the United States would gradually withdraw. The plan, Pence noted, was unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. It resulted in tremendous stability, and the United States hasn’t suffered a single combat casualty in the country for the past eighteen months, even with a small presence of only 2,500 U.S. troops, the smallest military presence since military operations began in 2001. The endless war was, as Pence said, coming to a “dignified end.” This was possible, Pence explained, because the Taliban understood “that the consequences of violating the deal would be swift and severe.”
The Taliban knew that the Trump administration meant business. Under Trump, our military took out Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani and the leader of ISIS. While the Taliban knew the Trump administration would keep its promise, the Biden administration was a different story. Biden, Pence explained, broke the deal with the Taliban by keeping U.S. forces in Afghanistan for four extra months “without a clear reason for doing so.” Pence also criticized Biden’s lack of a plan for transporting the billions of dollars of American equipment from the country, which is now in the hands of the Taliban. Biden also clearly had no plan to evacuate American citizens in the country before withdrawing the military and is now attempting a rushed resettlement of Afghan refugees with little or no vetting.
“It seems that the president simply didn’t want to appear to be abiding by the terms of a deal negotiated by his predecessor,” observed Pence.
“Once Mr. Biden broke the deal, the Taliban launched a major offensive against the Afghan government and seized Kabul. They knew there was no credible threat of force under this president. They’ve seen him kowtow to anti-Semitic terrorist groups like Hamas, restore millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority, and sit by earlier this year while thousands of rockets rained down on Israeli civilians,” Pence wrote.
“Weakness arouses evil,” he continued. “And the magnitude of evil now rising in Afghanistan speaks volumes about the weaknesses of Mr. Biden. To limit the carnage, the president has ordered more troops to Afghanistan, tripling our military presence amid a supposed withdrawal.”
While America was ready to bring our troops home, Pence called the way Biden did it a “disgrace unworthy of the courageous American servicemen and women whose blood still stains the soil of Afghanistan.” It looks like none of the talking points being used by the administration are working, either. Recent polls show Biden’s approval rating underwater. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll had Biden’s approval rating down a stunning 7 points since the fall of Afghanistan, with an approval rating of 46 percent, down from 53 percent on Friday.