Former President Donald Trump criticized President Joe Biden’s announcement that he would withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, asserting that they should be removed sooner and that the anniversary of the deadly terrorist attacks in New York should “remain a day of reflection.”
“I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11th as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, for two reasons. First, we can and should get out earlier. Nineteen years is enough, in fact, far too much and way too long,” Trump said in a statement late Sunday. “I made early withdraw possible by already pulling much of our billions of dollars of equipment out and, more importantly, reducing our military presence to less than 2,000 troops from the 16,000 level that was there (likewise in Iraq, and zero troops in Syria except for the area where we KEPT THE OIL).”
The former president continued, “Secondly, September 11th represents a very sad event and period for our Country and should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost. Getting out of Afghanistan is a wonderful and positive thing to do. I planned to withdraw on May 1st, and we should keep as close to that schedule as possible.”
Last week, Biden announced the withdrawal would begin on May 1, noting “we’ll be out of Afghanistan before we mark the 20th anniversary of that heinous attack on September 11th.”
United States forces have been in Afghanistan for almost 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001, Al Qaeda terrorist attacks. The initial mission was to target Al Qaeda’s leadership, which had used Taliban-controlled Afghanistan as a safe haven, but the mission was expanded to include the Global War on Terrorism.
“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result,” Biden said. “I am now the fourth United States president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”
Biden continued, “After consulting closely with our Allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and development experts, with Congress and the Vice President as well as [Afghan President Ashraf Ghani] and many others around the world, I have concluded that it is time to end America’s longest war. It is time for American troops to come home.”