During ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, host Martha Raddatz criticized the Biden administration for short-sighted planning in regards to withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan which has resulted in the Taliban taking over much of the country.
“We may not have known how fast it would happen, but I can’t, it’s hard for me to believe they didn’t have some expectation this would happen since they knew we were pulling out,” Raddatz said.
Martin interrupted suggesting the blame for the turmoil surrounding the evacuation of U.S. citizens and allies from the country lies with those under President Biden.
“Doesn’t operational effectiveness land a little lower than the Oval?” Martin asked.
While Martin acknowledged that Biden as president was responsible for broader strokes of the U.S. troop pullout, the blame also lied with Biden’s predecessors for failing to prepare.
“There are a lot of people who had been in office who had their responsibilities longer than Joe Biden has. It seems to me that the planning for this should have started a year ago with the prior administration.” Martin said.
Former President Donald Trump advocated for pulling out U.S. troops during his tenure. In February 2020, Trump originally struck a deal that would withdraw all American troops out of the country by May 2021. Biden himself acknowledged this deal in his address on Monday.
“When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, just a little over three months after I took office. U.S. forces had already drawn down during the Trump administration from roughly 15,500 American forces to 2,500 troops in country. And the Taliban was at its strongest militarily since 2001,” Biden said.
Raddatz remarked that while seven in ten Americans did want troops out of Afghanistan, many are now questioning whether the decision was worth it. Martin claimed the “whole question” of whether the pullout was worth it can’t be answered right now, but pivoted to concerns about the potential of White nationalist groups using the situation as a recruiting tool.
“I think this whole question of whether this was worth it, how this whole thing ended, that just is something that’s going to be roiling the country for quite some time.” Martin said. “One of the concerns I have is what this does for recruiting of white nationalist groups. I mean this has been one of their core issues is refugees and a sense of Americans losing their identity and their sense of potency both at home and abroad.”
Last week, Taliban troops officially took over the country of Afghanistan following Biden’s pullout of U.S. troops. Various reporters and politicians have called out the Biden administration for this disastrous result as well as Biden’s poor addresses to the nation.