Former Vice President Mike Pence slammed the Biden administration and its efforts to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan on Tuesday, calling it a “foreign policy humiliation.”
In an interview on “The Brian Kilmeade Show,” Pence recalled Biden’s decision to fully withdraw by Sept. 11, saying that decision set the “disaster in motion.”
“I was in Washington, DC, on September 11, and the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, it’s a foreign policy humiliation unlike anything our country has endured since the Iran hostage crisis,” he said.
“What you’re seeing in the Biden administration I think is just an effort to shift the conversation and shift the blame from just an unspeakably poor effort to withdraw troops from Afghanistan,” he added.
“We all want our troops to come home but not like that … What the Biden administration has done in this case by arbitrarily announcing that they were going to bring troop levels to zero by September 11 … irrespective of the situation on the ground, set this disaster in motion.”
The US is nearing the Aug. 31 deadline for the full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan as the war-torn country is seeing thousands of American and Afghan civilians frantically trying to flee amid the recent Taliban takeover.
In the aftermath, the Biden administration has faced bipartisan backlash for its initial response and failure to provide information on Americans being evacuated.
On Monday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby was slammed for being “deliberately vague” when talking about how many Americans have been evacuated, only saying that there have been “thousands.”
National security adviser Jake Sullivan defended the vague language during a later White House press conference, explaining that not all Americans in the country registered or deregistered when they left, making it hard to present an accurate number.
In recent weeks, there has been much debate on whether the Taliban would have taken over if Pence and former President Donald Trump’s original deal with them had gone through. In 2020, the former administration’s deal with the Taliban allowed for the release of a number of Taliban prisoners and a phased US troop withdrawal.
The former president has continuously slammed Biden’s withdrawal, signaling that it would have been different if he were still in charge.
When asked how the situation would have been different under Trump, Pence said the difference was “strength.”
“I have no doubt whatsoever that you would not have seen the Taliban march into Mazar-i-Sharif without consequence. You would not have seen the Taliban march into Kabul,” he said.
Despite the chaotic US efforts, approximately 21,000 people were evacuated over the past 24 hours alone, the White House said Tuesday.
Since Aug. 14, over 58,700 people have been flown out of Afghanistan, it added. It is unknown how many Americans are still in the country.
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