After publicly scolding President Joe Biden for his botched withdrawal in Afghanistan over the weekend, former Vice President Mike Pence wrote a detailed op-ed for the Wall Street Journal to further explain how the situation went horribly wrong.
In his piece, Mike Pence argued that Joe Biden broke the Trump administration’s deal with the Taliban, which created a “foreign-policy humiliation unlike anything our country has endured since the Iran hostage crisis.” According to Pence, the Trump administration brokered a deal with the Taliban that agreed for an orderly U.S. withdrawal from the region in exchange for an end to all attacks on U.S. military personnel, an end to providing terrorist safe harbor, and the start of negotiations with the Afghan government.
“By the time we left office, the Afghan government and the Taliban each controlled their respective territories, neither was mounting major offensives, and America had only 2,500 U.S. troops in the country — the smallest military presence since the war began in 2001,” Pence wrote.
Pence explained that the threat of American military might — as seen with the deaths of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria — was strong enough to keep the Taliban from breaking its end of the agreement. That all ended, he asserted, the moment Biden became president:
When Mr. Biden became president, he quickly announced that U.S. forces would remain in Afghanistan for an additional four months without a clear reason for doing so. There was no plan to transport the billions of dollars worth of American equipment recently captured by the Taliban, or evacuate the thousands of Americans now scrambling to escape Kabul, or facilitate the regional resettlement of the thousands of Afghan refugees who will now be seeking asylum in the U.S. with little or no vetting. Rather, it seems that the president simply didn’t want to appear to be abiding by the terms of a deal negotiated by his predecessor.
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.
Though Pence agreed that American troops needed to come home after 20 years of fighting, he echoed former President Trump’s words that the method of withdrawal was completely botched, bringing great shame upon the United States.
Pence’s WSJ op-ed follows a statement he made over the weekend in which he said that the Biden administration’s withdrawal dishonored troops who died fighting in Afghanistan.
“The Biden Administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan dishonors the memory of those heroic Americans who gave the last full measure of devotion and all who bravely served there defending freedom these past 20 years,” he tweeted. “God Bless Our Troops & Our Allies in this Dark Hour.”
The Biden Administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan dishonors the memory of those heroic Americans who gave the last full measure of devotion and all who bravely served there defending freedom these past 20 years. God Bless Our Troops & Our Allies in this Dark Hour
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) August 15, 2021
Follow Paul Bois on Twitter @Paulbois39