House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) spoke out on Tuesday to blast President Joe Biden for his alleged plan to remove the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September.
“Withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan by September 11 will only embolden the very jihadists who attacked our homeland on that day twenty years ago,” Cheney, a known neoconservative, said in a statement obtained by National Review. “By declaring that this withdrawal is not based on conditions on the ground, the Biden Administration is sending a dangerous signal that the United States fundamentally does not understand—or is willfully ignorant of—the terrorist threat.”
“President Biden’s decision hands the Taliban and al Qaeda a propaganda victory, abandons our global leadership position, and plays into our adversaries’ hands,” she continued. “As we saw with President Obama’s reckless decision to pull troops out of Iraq in 2011, retreat does not end the fight against terrorism. It merely gives our enemies more room to reconstitute and plot attacks against the homeland.”
Former President Donald Trump had set a deadline of removing all troops from Afghanistan by May 1, but Biden is not going to make that. Instead, it’s been reported that he will withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, something he allegedly will be announcing on Wednesday.
“We will reposition our counterterrorism capabilities retaining significant assets in the region to counter the potential reemergence of a terrorist threat to the homeland from Afghanistan and to hold the Taliban to its commitment to ensure Al Qaeda does not once again threaten the United States or our interests or our allies,” a senior official told CNBC earlier in the day on Tuesday.
The official went on to say that Biden and his administration understand that the “military force would not solve Afghanistan’s internal political challenges.”
Last month, Biden had admitted that he would not be able to meet Trump’s deadline on this.
“It’s going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline,” Biden said. “It is not my intention to stay there for a long time.”
“We are not staying a long time. We will leave, the question is when we leave,” Biden continued.