Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on Sunday called the U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan an “epic failure across the board” for which both the Biden and Trump administrations share blame.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Cheney said President Joe Biden has to own up to “legitimizing the Taliban.”
“President Biden bears responsibility for making the decision,” he said. “There’s no question that President Trump, his administration, [former] Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo, they bear significant responsibility for this. They walked down this path of legitimizing the Taliban, perpetuating this fantasy, telling the American people that the Taliban were partners in peace. [Former] President [Donald] Trump told us the Taliban was going to fight terror. Secretary Pompeo told us the Taliban was going to renounce al-Qaeda. The Taliban released prisoners across Afghanistan… at one point President Trump said they would invite the Taliban to camp David.”
According to Cheney, U.S. leaders have an obligation “no matter what the issue is, to tell the American people the truth.”
“There’s one question that matters when it comes to Afghanistan and that question is what does American security require,” she said. “If it means our enemies can’t establish safe havens, then leaders across both parties need explain it to people. This has been an epic failure across the board.”
Cheney said the “catastrophe” of the Taliban taking power across Afghanistan did not have to happen as it did.
“It’s not just that people predicted this would happen, but everyone was warned this would happen,” she said. “We created a situation where as we get to the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we’re surrendering Afghanistan to the terrorist organization that housed al-Qaeda when they plotted and planned the attacks against us. It’s going to have ramifications not just for Afghanistan, not just for the war on terror, but globally for America’s role in the world. Our allies are questioning this morning whether they can count on us for anything.”
Cheney also said the United States will suffer the ramifications of its withdrawal.
“What we’re watching in Afghanistan is what happens when America withdraws from the world,” she said. “Everyone who has been saying America needs to withdraw. We’re getting a real time lesson in what that means.”
“What we’re seeing now is the opposite of ending the war,” she asserted. “What we’re seeing now is a policy that will ensure that we will, in fact, have to have our children and grandchildren continuing to fight this war. The [GOP Kentucky Sen.] Rand Paul, Donald Trump, Joe Biden view of the world is fundamentally dangerous and wrong.”
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