Afghanistan: Women protest against Taliban in Kabul

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As the Taliban have been recapturing territory in Afghanistan at an alarming rate, US President Joe Biden had been criticised by many for his handling of the crisis. With US troops withdrawing from the country after 20 years – have Mr Biden’s actions mirrored his predecessors?

Mr Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan has been criticised by many.

Veterans condemned the President’s actions saying their efforts were in vain.

While others have said his actions have let down the Afghani people.

Former national security adviser, John Bolton, says the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has been a mistake.

He added there’s no difference between the policies of President Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump.

Mr Bolton told CNN Mr Trump fully supported the withdrawal of US troops and had he been re-elected he would have taken the same action as Mr Biden.

He said: “On this question of withdrawal from Afghanistan, Trump and Biden are like Tweedledee and Tweedledum.”

Mr Bolton said Mr Biden bears “primary responsibility” for the chaotic withdrawal of US troops.

He said: “It’s been a catastrophe and I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse.”

Mr Bolton supports a forceful US military presence overseas.

He defended the length of the 20-year war in Afghanistan saying: “The American people understand a long overseas presence can be in our national interest if their leaders step up to it.”

Mr Bolton believes a US presence in Afghanistan is needed to stop terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.

While Mr Biden has said the task of fighting back against the Taliban must fall to Afghan forces.

He defended his decision to withdraw US troops in a press conference on Monday.

He said: “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 1 May 2021 deadline on US forces.

“Shortly before he [Trump] left office, he also drew US 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.”

The US president has long asserted the presence of US troops in Afghanistan is ineffective if the Afghan government cannot defend itself against the Taliban.

Mr Biden said: “One more year, or five more years, of US military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country.

He added: “An endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.”

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