Trump is out of office, but that hasn't stopped lickspittles like Gym Jordan from continuing their cult-like worship of Dear Leader. Biden can do no right, and Trump could do no wrong in right-wing fantasy-land.
Never mind what Biden inherited from Trump, Jordan insisted during an interview with Fox's Maria Bartiromo that everything would be going perfectly now if Trump were still in office:
So let’s hope we can protect American lives but this would not happen, this would not happen if President Trump was in the White House. We know that. We would not be treated the way we are from our adversaries and what happened in Anchorage, that just would not happen when you project strength and competence from the White House but unfortunately we don’t have that today.
And, as Jason Easley explained in his post, Jordan then proceeded to attack Biden for being on vacation at Camp David, when he himself is on vacation as well.
Republicans are going to use this Afghan withdrawal as a political cudgel, because they can, but as Biden discussed in his press release, Trump was the one that made the deal for the withdrawal:
Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in U.S. history. One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.
When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. Forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. Forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500. Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our Forces and our allies’ Forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict. I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth.
Josh Marshall gave his thoughts on Afghanistan just prior to the fall of Kabul, and he makes some good points on the motivations of the detractors, and what this means politically for the Biden administration:
Many voices today are saying we’ve quickly forgotten the lesson of what happened the last time we ‘ignored’ Afghanistan.
Whether this is true in general it’s outdated in the particular.
There are numerous regions today which are potential safe-havens for the kind of militant and terrorist groups we’re talking about – big, though decreasing parts of Syria, Yemen, Libya. There was the ISIS ‘caliphate’. Obviously we could go over a whole long list in and out of the Islamic world. But the point being, to the extent that’s the ‘lesson’ of 9/11, it’s not like Afghanistan is the only place this can happen from or that it is uniquely likely to happen from.
But in the escalating commentary about what appears to be the rapid collapse of US-backed government numerous commentators have argued that the withdrawal was done too quickly, that there was insufficient planning and coordination, that the Biden administration architects of the withdrawal are shocked by the speed of the collapse.
I suspect all of this is simply wrong.
In fact, I’m shocked that people are shocked. To me it really seemed like a given and something everyone understood that when the US left the current government would collapse. That’s why it was a big decision. That’s why the people who were against leaving were so against leaving. I’m not saying this for effect: I really thought everyone took that as a given.
The idea that it was just mishandled or poorly planned also seems wrong to me. And I’m pretty sure I’m not saying this out of a general desire to defend an administration I support. I don’t think you can finesse this. I think people who claim otherwise are either fooling themselves or actually don’t support withdrawal. The government is propped up by the US military. The Taliban believes that. So with a US military departure they are trying to conquer the country. Perhaps even more critically the government army clearly believes that. And thus when the Taliban conquest comes to their province they are unwilling to fight against what is essentially a foregone conclusion. Why would they? This is all highly logical for all the players involved if you operate from the premise that the government is propped up by the presence of the US military and cannot survive without it.
And finally on the politics:
Several readers have written in telling me this will erupt into a political crisis for President Biden when Kabul falls. I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think Americans care that much about Afghanistan. In many ways, that’s been the story all along. The American public is highly insulated from our deployment in Afghanistan. That’s why we’ve been there as long as we have. Having said this, I’m also concerned about the political fallout to the administration. Republicans will try hard to make it an issue and it will fit tonally for Republicans trying to create a narrative of weakness, decline and chaos. But I’m not that concerned about it. And I’m not concerned enough to make me second guess the core policy decision or to believe that more planning and preparation would have made a difference.
We've been there 20 years, and even Trump knew it was time to get out, and things wouldn't have gone any better for him if the withdrawal had happened under his watch. The Jim Jordan's can scream and stomp their feet all they want, but it won't change the fact that Biden inherited a mess.