Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam was “child’s play” compared to what has happened in Afghanistan.
“What took place yesterday in Afghanistan made our withdrawal from Vietnam look like child’s play,” Trump said in a statement released through his Save America PAC.
“Perhaps in World history, there has never been a withdrawal operation that has been handled so disastrously. A President who has been illegitimately elected has brought great shame, in many ways, to our Country!”
President Joe Biden on Monday defended the U.S. troop pullout from Afghanistan, saying it was time to leave after 20 years of conflict.
Taliban forces seized and took control of capital city Kabul on Sunday, drawing comparisons to the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. Both events included images of helicopters evacuating Americans from the U.S. Embassy as enemy troops approached.
Trump on Monday criticized Biden for what he called the “grossly incompetent way” U.S. troops were pulled out.
“It’s not that we left Afghanistan. It’s the grossly incompetent way we left!” Trump said in a terse, two-sentence statement.
Biden acknowledged that the Afghan government collapsed more quickly than he expected.
“The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” Biden said. “We gave them every chance to determine their own future. We could not provide them with the will to fight for that future.”
Gen. David Petraeus, who led U.S. forces in Afghanistan during the Obama administration, took issue with people claiming Afghanistan soldiers lacked the will to fight.
“Afghan soldiers died in huge numbers over the course of the past two decades,” Petraeus told NBC News. “We were worried that they wouldn’t be able to replace all those they lost. So the idea they would not fight for their country is something that is just not accurate.”