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Biden’s exit from Afghanistan has been very Trumpy

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In Europe, President Biden is being lauded as the anti-Trump. But in his first major foreign policy decision as president — the pullout from Afghanistan — he acted in a very Trumpy fashion. Which is to say, he made an impetuous, ideological decision without adequate planning or preparation. The more we know, the worse it looks.

To recap how we got here: Then-President Donald Trump signed the worst deal of the century with the Taliban in 2020. The United States agreed to pull all of its troops out of Afghanistan within 14 months and to force the Afghan government to release thousands of Taliban prisoners. One of the few promises the Taliban made in return — “not to cooperate with groups or individuals threatening the security of the United States and its allies” — has already been violated. The United Nations reports that the Taliban remains “closely aligned” with al-Qaeda.

Because the Taliban is not fulfilling its side of the bargain, Biden should have kept the 2,500 to 3,500 U.S. troops who serve as invaluable advisers for Afghan forces. Instead, Biden announced on April 14 a withdrawal to be completed by Sept. 11. The clumsy symbolism — rewarding al-Qaeda’s allies on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — recalled Trump’s harebrained plan to meet with Taliban leaders around Sept. 11, 2019.

Military leaders urged Biden to leave a few thousand U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Biden ignored them — just as Trump so often ignored expert advice.........

© Washington Post

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