Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE slammed President BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE on Saturday for not “following the plan” the former administration left for him regarding withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“He ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him—a plan that protected our people and our property, and ensured the Taliban would never dream of taking our Embassy or providing a base for new attacks against America. The withdrawal would be guided by facts on the ground,” Trump said in a statement.
“After I took out ISIS, I established a credible deterrent. That deterrent is now gone. The Taliban no longer has fear or respect for America, or America’s power,” he added.
Trump in 2016 ran on a platform to end "endless" wars such as the conflict in Afghanistan. The U.S. has been involved in conflict there for 20 years.
In the past year, the former president drew down forces in the area. While in office, Trump said he wanted all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by May 1 and praised the prospect as “a wonderful and positive thing to do.”
Trump’s statement comes hours after Biden released a statement Saturday appearing to blame the former administration for leaving the Taliban "in the strongest position militarily since 2001."
“When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on US forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew US forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500,” Biden stated.
Biden said Trump’s policies gave him no choice but to either send more troops “to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict” or get the troops and allies out of the country.
The second- and third-largest cities in Afghanistan were taken over by the Taliban on Friday, and Mazar-i-Sharif, the Afghan government’s northern stronghold, was taken over on Saturday.
Biden has authorized 5,000 troops to help get U.S. personnel out of the country, warning the Taliban of strong military action should they harm or endanger U.S. citizens.
“This is complete failure through weakness, incompetence, and total strategic incoherence,” Trump said. “What a disgrace it will be when the Taliban raises their flag over America’s Embassy in Kabul.”