Saturday, December 04, 2021

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Biden defends Afghanistan pullout amid mounting bipartisan backlash

Biden defends Afghanistan pullout amid mounting bipartisan backlash

Washington, Aug 18 (Prensa Latina) President Joe Biden is getting little cover from Congress, even among Democrats, as he faces broad backlash over his handling of the US withdrawal in Afghanistan, local media outlets reported on Wednesday.
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In addition, President Biden finds few Capitol Hill allies amid Afghanistan backlash, The Hill newspaper reported.

However, former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster told The Hill the Taliban’s swift takeover ‘should not have been a surprise.’

Some Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), have rallied to Biden’s side and circulated White House talking points to their members. Pelosi also urged Democrats during a conference call to stand behind Biden, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

But the quick fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, images of chaos coming out of Kabul and questions about how, and how quickly, Americans and tens of thousands of Afghan allies and their families will get evacuated have merged into broad, bipartisan frustration between the two sides of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Though Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, criticized the Trump administration’s agreement with the Taliban as ‘wholly inadequate,’ he also didn’t spare Biden. ‘I am disappointed that the Biden administration clearly did not accurately assess the implications of a rapid U.S. withdrawal,’ Menendez said.

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued a blistering rebuke of the U.S. withdrawal under Biden, calling it a ‘catastrophe.’ However, White House sources said that Biden is betting that the American public will end up supporting the end of the United States military presence, which at two decades is the longest war in the country.

A recent Morning Consult / Politico poll showed that 49% of voters support the White House’s decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, down 20% since mid-April.

Meanwhile, Doug Bandow, senior researcher at the Cato Institute, pointed out that the Afghanistan implosion is a really tragedy and blamed all those who deceived the US people while building up castles in the Afghan sky.

Deciding the policy of Afghanistan, Bandow said, President Biden did something different from his three predecessors: put the US people first and concluded that a 20-year term was enough. ‘It was a brave decision,’ despite mounting bipartisan criticism.

pgh/Pll/mem / lb

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