Under Donald Trump, then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. was on track to remove all troops from Afghanistan by Spring 2021.
After some initial uncertainty if the troop withdrawal would still continue under a Biden administration, he did push back the timeline a few months and commit to removing all troops by the symbolic date of September 11th.
The delay – and selection of 9/11 as the deadline set Trump off in a new statement.
As reported by the Washington Examiner:
Trump slammed the Biden administration on Sunday for not withdrawing troops earlier and using Sept. 11 for something other than a “day of reflection.”
“I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11th as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, for two reasons,” Trump said in an email statement. “First, we can and should get out earlier. Nineteen years is enough, in fact, far too much and way too long. I made early withdraw possible by already pulling much of our billions of dollars of equipment out and, more importantly, reducing our military presence to less than 2,000 troops from the 16,000 level that was there (likewise in Iraq, and zero troops in Syria except for the area where we KEPT THE OIL).”
“Secondly, September 11th represents a very sad event and period for our Country and should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost,” he continued. “Getting out of Afghanistan is a wonderful and positive thing to do. I planned to withdraw on May 1st, and we should keep as close to that schedule as possible.”
During his final months in office, President Donald Trump aggressively moved to reduce America’s presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. In mid-January U.S. troop presence was reduced to 2,500 in both Iraq and Afghanistan (for 5,000 total remaining).
February 8th 2021 marked the first time since 2001 that the U.S. had gone an entire year without a combat death in Afghanistan.
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate
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