Tragically, an attack by terrorists who are believed to have been affiliated with ISIS at a Kabul airport this week killed 13 U.S. servicemembers, in addition to deaths and injuries sustained by the local population and surviving soldiers. This attack unfolded amid the final stages of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was set up by a deal that Trump and his team struck with the Taliban last year. The withdrawal deadline included in that deal was after the then-upcoming presidential inauguration, so right from the beginning, the issue was poised to be passed to the next commander-in-chief, providing Trump an opportunity to jeer from the rhetorical sidelines as something he helped set up played out.
On CNN this week, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) singled out Biden for criticism over his decision to go through with withdrawing, but the Congressman also harshly criticized Trump for his team’s negotiations with the Taliban. Kinzinger said that Trump struck a deal that “would make Neville Chamberlain blush,” referring to the British prime minister who infamously appeased Hitler’s Nazi regime.
As Kinzinger pointedly put it:
‘I know in such a tribal moment that we live in, we can’t fathom that both Republicans and Democrats could bear blame, because each side is busy pointing at the other, but Donald Trump set up a deal that would make Neville Chamberlain blush. As he’s out there saying that this war’s not worth it; we’re going to leave; my goal is to leave; it’s an endless war. Then he empowers Pompeo to go negotiate a deal in that context. Pompeo negotiated a bad deal. They weren’t following the deal, the Taliban — they weren’t ceasing attacks. They still went forward as if this deal was working. And then after [Trump] got out of his office, he even as recently as a month ago said, I boxed Joe Biden in.’
Staggeringly, Trump appears to have essentially been duped by the Taliban, which yet again reveals the incompetency that defined his time in office. Although he also promised potential future military action against the group should issues like threats to the U.S. emerge, Trump said around the time of signing that withdrawal deal that he believed that the Taliban “wants to do something to show we’re not all wasting time.” Talk about a miscalculation!
Meanwhile, Kinzinger also noted that he believes the Biden administration to bear responsibility for deciding to follow through and withdraw U.S. military forces from Afghanistan. Beyond current evacuation efforts, Biden has insisted that he refuses to send even more American personnel to fight in the country with the current form of the U.S. presence there in place. Further deployments along these lines would, of course, mean potential additional casualties. Check out Kinzinger’s remarks on CNN below:
"Donald Trump set up a deal that would make Neville Chamberlain blush" — Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/JyfS6sJmVi
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 27, 2021