Former President Donald Trump slammed the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as “the greatest foreign policy humiliation in the history of the United States of America” during a rally in Alabama on Saturday.
Trump ripped President Biden for allowing “weakness in the White House,” saying that, Vietnam looks like a Masterclass in strategy compared to Joe Biden’s catastrophe.”
“This will go down as one of the great military defeats of all time and it did not have to happen that way,” Trump said to his supporters. “This was not a withdrawal, this was a total surrender, for no reason.”
“He surrendered our airbase, he surrendered our weapons, he surrendered our embassy,” Trump said.
The ex-president addressed a crowd of thousands in deep-red Cullman, Ala., at the rally in support of Rep. Mo Brooks, who is running for a Senate seat.
He criticized the billions of dollars worth of arms and equipment that were left behind and seized by the Taliban, possibly including 600,000 assault rifles, some 2,000 armored vehicles and 40 aircraft, including Black Hawks, according to reports.
“It didn’t have to happen. All [Biden] had to do was leave the soldiers until everyone was out, our citizens, the weapons, and then you bomb the hell out of the bases and say ‘bye bye,’” Trump said.
He said after 20 years of conflict, his administration determined it was time for US troops to leave Afghanistan, but to depart “in dignity.”
“Very soon we’re going to have September 11 and we’re going to have — because of Biden — the Taliban flag flying over the embassy.”
Trump defended his original negotiations with Taliban leadership during his presidency, in which he said he orchestrated a “conditions based agreement” for US withdrawal with the extremist group, who he described as “great negotiators” and “tough fighters.”
The former president said he had made it clear when he met with Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar that Americans and the US government would be protected upon military withdrawal.
“With me in office the Taliban would not have ever dreamt of capturing our airfield or parading around with our American weapons,” he said.
Trump also boasted his successes in the Middle East, including airstrikes against Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad after he allegedly used chemical weapons on his own people, and the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a US military raid.