Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger has said in a statement that the Trump administration is to blame for the ongoing Afghanistan crisis. He said that the 2020 agreement between the Trump administration and the Taliban set up the failure that the South Asian country is facing now.
Speaking with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “State of the Union,” Kinzinger, who represents Illinois, said: “Let’s keep in mind, (former Secretary of State) Mike Pompeo met with the Taliban. As Donald Trump was publicly saying, ‘We have to get out of Afghanistan at all costs. It’s not worth it,’ Mike Pompeo meets with the Taliban and tries to negotiate something.”
Kinzinger, however, did not let President Joe Biden off the hook, too. He said, “But always, of course, Joe Biden could have easily turned this around, and instead used it as the excuse to get out.” Kinzinger also noted that both parties failed the American people, and it should not continue. The Congressman is an Air Force veteran, and he served both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Previously, negotiations between the Taliban and the Trump administration pertained to a peace deal that was signed in 2020. The United States agreed back then to withdraw its troops and release around 5,000 Taliban prisoners. The Taliban, likewise, agreed to take steps to prevent any group or individual from using Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States or its allies.
Aside from Kinzinger, Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, slammed the Biden administration regarding the failure to quickly evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from the country. In a statement, Cheney said: “The fact that we’re now somehow relying on the Taliban to protect Americans and the White House is denying what we know is happening on the ground, which is that Americans are being beaten, they’re being prevented from getting to the gates to the airport, and they’re probably being held hostage.”
Cheney’s remarks were echoed by Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa. Slamming Biden over his hasty Afghan move, Ernst said: “He knew this day was coming, and yet again, was very slow to respond to the needs of not only our American citizens, by pulling those troops out before we had them safely out of Afghanistan, but he’s also again jeopardized those that were partners (who assisted the U.S. throughout the war) to us through an extended war on terror,” ABC News reported.