News & Politics
Premium

Donald Trump Warned Us What a Rushed Pullout of Afghanistan Would Like Back in 2017

AP Photo/LM Otero

The Biden administration has claimed that they planned for every contingency in Afghanistan and yet were still surprised at the rapid decline of the country.

But Donald Trump knew that a rushed withdrawal from Afghanistan would be a disaster, that a “rapid exit” would create a “vacuum” for terrorists to fill.

He didn’t say this recently, he said it back in 2017, seven months into his term.

“My original instinct was to pull out. The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11—the worst terrorist attack in our history—was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists,” Trump said in a speech at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia. “So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David, with my Cabinet and generals, to complete our strategy.”

The first part of the strategy was that America must seek “an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives.”

“A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11th,” Trump warned.

Trump knew this because of what happened in Iraq. “And, as we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq. As a result, our hard-won gains slipped back into the hands of terrorist enemies. Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for, and bled to liberate, and won, were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS.”

“The vacuum we created by leaving too soon gave safe haven for ISIS to spread, to grow, recruit, and launch attacks,” Trump explained. “We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq.”

Donald Trump knew this—literally four years before Biden did the exact opposite—and created the very situation he said would happen. On Thursday, Biden called himself a “student of history,” but apparently had forgotten the lessons from Iraq—or he simply ignored them imagining that withdrawing from Afghanistan would give him a huge political victory. There have been many reports indicating that Biden was warned by his advisors about what would happen, which he apparently ignored.

“I was in a number of these briefings over the last couple months, it was pretty obvious to me what was going to happen,” Senate Minority Leader McConnell said a week and a half ago. “I know for a fact that the president’s military leaders argued against this decision. I think the president himself felt strongly about this and overruled his own military leaders to do it, and he owns it.”

Despite saying the buck stops with him, Biden has attempted to blame Trump for the situation. But it was Biden who ignored the advice of his military advisers, not Trump. It was Trump who knew that a hasty withdrawal would play out just as it has.

Trump has said that the Afghanistan disaster would never have happened on his watch, and he’s right. It’s not hyperbole because he knew it four years ago. Trump knew. Biden didn’t care. Now, Americans have died because of Biden’s carelessness in the name of politics. That is unforgivable.