Former Vice President Mike Pence blasted Joe Biden on Tuesday, claiming the current turmoil in Afghanistan is happening because the president violated a February 2020 deal between former President Donald Trump and the Taliban.
The deal, according to Pence, called for the gradual removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan starting in May 2021 and required the Taliban not to advance on cities under control of the Afghan government, including Kabul.
The agreement turned sour when Biden maintained a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond the agreed-upon May 2021 date, prompting the Taliban to begin its march.
Pence's statements echo a view common among conservative politicians and pundits: that the Biden administration is more concerned with undoing Trump's legacy than it is with being good stewards of the economy and America's place in the world.
“Weakness arouses evil and the magnitude of evil now rising in Afghanistan speaks volumes about the weaknesses of Mr. Biden,” Pence said.
“After 20 years, more than 2,400 American deaths, 20,000 Americans wounded, and over $2 trillion spent, the American people are ready to bring our troops home,” Pence concluded. “But the manner in which Mr. Biden has executed this withdrawal is a disgrace, unworthy of the courageous American servicemen and women whose blood still stains the soil of Afghanistan.”
The withdrawal from Afghanistan under Biden can charitably be described as a disaster. Sadly, though, it didn't have to be this way. Polls indicate that the majority of the population supported withdrawing from Afghanistan.
The issue isn't that we did it; it's how we did it. For the Biden administration not to initiate the withdrawal only after a safe and orderly evacuation of U.S. citizens and allies had been executed is inexcusable and will leave an indelible stain on his legacy.