Former President Donald Trump’s goal of exiting endless wars may have left the White House with him, as President Joe Biden appears to be keeping American soldiers in Afghanistan past the May 1, 2021, deadline.
During the presidential campaign, Biden espoused the idea of ending endless wars overseas upon the 20th year of American forces remaining in Iraq and Syria. But early signals suggest a return to the Bush and Obama era of forever wars.
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) said he favors seeking an extension of the May 1 deadline for withdrawing troops that Trump and the Taliban negotiated last year, allowing time for diplomats to negotiate an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
“To pull out within several months now is a very challenging and destabilizing effort,” Jack said in a video conference organized by George Washington University.
“I would expect some extension,” Reed said, even if that ultimately meant more time for the United States to withdraw the 2,500 troops in the country now.
Reed also underscored Afghanistan is a national security priority due to its tendency to be a safe haven for such groups as Al-Qaeda and Daesh.
The United States has gone a year without a combat-related casualty in Afghanistan, even as the Taliban warns of renewed attacks. https://t.co/f5GtjQXzLg
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 10, 2021
“We’ve got to be able to assure the world and the American public that Afghanistan will not be a source of planning, plotting to project terrorist attacks around the globe,” he added, “that’s the minimum. I’m not sure we can do that without some presence there.”
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) booked an interview on CNN to say, “I think Afghanistan can be very important. I hope that the Biden administration I can work with them on this and talk to Secretary Blinken and the national security adviser about leaving a residual force there to protect the homeland and not allow the Taliban to take over their country.”
The director-general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar has also shed light on Pakistan’s regional position, explaining Afghanistan has changed from its past vulnerabilities.
“Afghanistan now is not what it was in the 90s and the state infrastructure cannot be trounced easily, and Pakistan also has changed.” Iftikhar added, “It’s impossible for the Taliban to recapture Kabul and that Pakistan would support them. It isn’t going to happen”.
“Even Afghan leaders are admitting that Pakistan has done utmost for peace in Afghanistan,” noting, “We only aim for a long-lasting peace in Afghanistan.”
Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill say they expect at least some of the 2,500 American forces stationed in Afghanistan to remain past the May 1, 2021 date set out in an agreement Trump struck with the Taliban last year.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who has become one of Mr. Trump’s harshest critics, has stressed the Republican Party must not embrace the former president’s rhetoric.
The Biden Pentagon indicated recently it may depart from the Trump administration’s peace agreement with the Taliban and leave 2,500 U.S. forces in Afghanistan beyond a negotiated drawdown date of May. https://t.co/SBnQ3x1f6X
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 1, 2021
“I think it is irresponsible to use phrases like ‘endless war.’ That is not a description that is accurate about what’s happening in a place like Afghanistan or Iraq or Syria,” she said during a recent speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute. “And I think we have to take responsibility for being honest with the American people about what is happening. And that is that in order for us to defend ourselves, in order for us to ensure that terrorists can’t establish safe havens from which they could attack us again, we’ve got to have sufficient resources … to work with local entities and be able to deny safe havens to terrorists.”
The collision of the Trump and Cheney schools of thought on foreign policy could create a wide-open political dynamic that allows Republicans to take advantage of whatever circumstances arise over the next few years.
Whatever comes next for America’s endless war inAfghanistan, Biden will determine the path forward.