Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in a series of tweets on Sunday, expressed his disagreement with former President Donald Trump’s statement applauding President Joe Biden’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan after almost 20 years of deployment there.
Trump called Biden’s decision “wonderful” and “positive” but urged his successor to bring troops home earlier than the announced date of September 11, 2021.
“Getting out of Afghanistan is a wonderful and positive thing to do,” Trump said in the statement. “I planned to withdraw on May 1st, and we should keep as close to that schedule as possible.”
“I could not disagree more with former President Trump regarding his support for President Biden’s withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan against sound military advice,” Graham tweeted. “With all due respect to former President Trump, there is nothing ‘wonderful’ or ‘positive’ about allowing safe havens and sanctuary for terrorists to reemerge in Afghanistan or see Afghanistan be drawn back into another civil war.”
“I’m well aware our military and intelligence communities argued strenuously to both President Biden and President Trump that a small but capable residual counter-terrorism force be left in Afghanistan,” Graham continued. “These forces act as an insurance policy to prevent the rise of ISIS and al-Qaeda, which threaten the American homeland, as well as to prevent another Afghan civil war.”
Graham called the development the “Biden-Trump plan.”
“The intelligence regarding withdrawal is ominous for U.S. interests and no one believes the Taliban can be trusted to police al-Qaeda and ISIS as envisioned by the Biden-Trump plan,” Graham asserted. “We will see if ‘General’ Biden and ‘General’ Trump’s withdrawal strategy turns out to be sound national security policy.”
“For the sake of our nation, the people of Afghanistan, and the entire region I hope President Biden and former President Trump are proven right and our military and intelligence communities are proven wrong,” he went on. “However, I very seriously doubt it as I have seen this movie in Iraq and I fear that over time Afghanistan will become worse.”
“It is important history judge those who make these decisions fairly but firmly,” Graham wrote.
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