Senate

Graham calls Biden’s Afghanistan decision a ‘disaster in the making’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called President Biden’s decision to complete the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Aug. 31 a “disaster in the making.”

In a series of tweets, Graham said Biden has been “consistently” wrong on the war on terror, adding that the Afghanistan decision would “prove to be his biggest mistake yet.”

“President Biden may have set a deadline to end the war with al-Qaeda and ISIS in Afghanistan. Unfortunately for us, al-Qaeda and ISIS don’t have deadlines when it comes to attacking American interests,” Graham said.

Biden confirmed the Aug. 31 date on Thursday, stating that all U.S. troops would be withdrawn at that time, ahead of the original Sept. 11 deadline.

News of the withdrawal comes amid fears that the Taliban would overrun Kabul after the U.S. departs amid a series of gains from the insurgents.

Graham criticized Biden’s decision, saying it was made against “against sound military advice,” comparing the move to when the Obama administration pulled out of Iraq. He further said it is clear that Biden “has learned nothing from their Iraq withdrawal debacle.”

“President Biden does not understand conditions are developing in Afghanistan for a reemergence of al-Qaeda and ISIS which will directly threaten the American homeland and our allies,” Graham said. “Get ready for major upheaval as this decision by President Biden is a disaster in the making.”

The South Carolina Republican has previously criticized Biden when the president announced a full withdrawal by Sept. 11, the 20-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that led to the conflict. 

Graham was also critical of former President Trump for wanting to withdraw from Afghanistan on May 1 of this year.

Earlier this week, Graham said he wanted Biden to consider staying involved with the Afghan Air Force to give an edge over the Taliban.

“So two things I’m asking President Biden to consider: providing American airpower in support of the Afghan National Security Forces and maintaining a relationship with the Afghan Air Force to make sure it can fly to create an advantage against the Taliban militarily,” Graham said.

“If we do not do this, I fear that al Qaeda and ISIS will reemerge from the ashes of a civil war that’s brewing in Afghanistan 20 years after 9/11,” he continued.

During an impassioned speech defending the withdrawal decision Thursday afternoon, Biden rejected the idea that a takeover from the Taliban was inevitable, saying it was unlikely the group would overrun the Afghan government. 

“It’s up to the people of Afghanistan to decide on what government they want, not us to impose the government on them. No country has been able to do that,” Biden said Thursday from the White House East Room. “Never has Afghanistan been a united country, not in all of its history.”

Tags Afghanistan Donald Trump Joe Biden Lindsey Graham
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