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Nobody seems pleased with President Joe Biden’s decision to completely withdraw from Afghanistan. Not Republicans and not even CNN.
Over at CNN, the network’s national security analyst, Peter Bergen, responded with fire and fury after the president delivered a limp speech Thursday defending his decision to abandon the U.S.’s established bases in Afghanistan.
Describing it as “the worst speech of Biden’s presidency,” Bergen fact-checked the president’s claim that leaving troops in Afghanistan would make it impossible for the U.S. to “meet the strategic competition with China and other nations.”
“The US military consists of 1.3 million active-duty personnel and yet it can’t leave 2,500 troops in Afghanistan? To use a trademark Biden expression: C’mon man!” he wrote in an op-ed.
He also slapped down the president’s excuse that the withdrawal is the product of an agreement that former President Donald Trump reached last year with the Taliban.
He noted that Trump’s agreement “was predicated on the Taliban breaking with al-Qaeda.” But they never did.
“It was also predicated on the Taliban engaging with the Afghan government in real peace negations. They haven’t,” according to Bergen.
Yet Biden decided to stick with the deal regardless.
“To use another trademark Biden expression, his Afghanistan speech was a bunch of malarkey,” Bergen concluded.
Over on Fox News, meanwhile, former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows aimed his fury at White House press secretary Jen Psaki for having basically said that the mission in Afghanistan was a failure.
“In terms of plans for the end, for our men and women coming back, I don’t have anything to preview, we’re not going to have a ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment in this regard. It’s a 20-year war that has not been won militarily,” she’d said during a Thursday briefing.
“[W]e’re not having a moment of celebration. We’re having a moment where we feel is in our national security interests to bring our men and women serving home. And we feel it’s in our national security interests for Afghan forces to be in the lead,” she’d added.
Meadows didn’t care for this.
“We need to be welcoming these men and women who are coming home from Afghanistan. We need to say ‘welcome home.’ Jen needs to walk that back,” he said during an appearance Thursday evening on Fox News’s “Hannity.”
He added that, with the sorts of decisions the administration has been making, the infamous “help wanted” signs being seen across the country need to be placed on the White House.
“When we look at what’s happening in the job market, the fact that you have more ‘help wanted’ signs out than perhaps is healthy for the economy, I can tell you where we need a ‘help wanted’ sign: at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said.
“They need some help and some decision-makers there, because they’re not in control of the border, they’re not in control of the job market, they’re not in control of our international relationships with China and Russia, and quite frankly, they’re not even in control of their own narrative,” he added.
(Video: Fox News)
Speaking alongside Meadows, former Trump administration official Stephen Miller added that foreign adversaries like the Taliban have no respect for the president.
“They feared Donald Trump, and they respected him, whether you’re talking about the Taliban, whether you’re talking about the drug cartels, whether you’re talking about the communist regime in China,” he said.
“They’re all on the march [now] because they don’t respect this president, they don’t respect this administration and they know that no one is in charge,” he added.
The results speak for themselves. On Friday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby admitted that there’s now a “deteriorating security situation” in Afghanistan.
“What we have seen is a deteriorating security situation on the ground, no question about that, that the Taliban continues to take district centers. We are seeing them continue to advance on district centers around the country, and it is concerning,” he told CNN.
That’s one way of putting it …
— Asfandyar Bhittani (@BhittaniKhannnn) July 8, 2021
— Tariq Ghazniwal (@TGhazniwal1) July 10, 2021
The Taliban is on the verge taking Faizabad town of Afghanistan’s Badaghshan province. This afternoon, senior local officials took this flight and escaped to Kabul. Tonight, Faizabad could become the first provincial capital falling to the Taliban. pic.twitter.com/9H9rB5y8gU
— Ezzatullah Mehrdad (@EzzatMehrdad) July 3, 2021
However, he tried to excuse the administration’s failures by claiming that the Taliban “claiming territory or claiming ground doesn’t mean [they] can sustain that or keep it over time.”
According to the Long War Journal, whereas the Taliban controlled only 73 out of 398 Afghan districts as of early May, it had control of 204 districts (or 51 percent) as of July 5th …
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