While many are celebrating President Joe Biden’s move to pull soldiers out of the Middle East after nearly 20 years, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney is not among them.
At two different points this week, Cheney criticized Biden’s decision to pull troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, an extension of the May 1 deadline set by former President Donald Trump.
“Wars don’t end when one side abandons the fight,” Cheney said after the announcement. “Withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan by September 11 will only embolden the very jihadists who attacked our homeland on that day 20 years ago. By declaring that this withdrawal is not based on conditions on the ground, the Biden Administration is sending a dangerous signal that the United States fundamentally does not understand — or is willfully ignorant of — the terrorist threat.”
She added Biden was handing the Taliban and al Qaeda a “propaganda victory,” a sentiment she repeated during a news conference on Thursday.
“I can tell you that that is a huge propaganda victory for the Taliban, for al Qaeda. The notion that on the day they attacked us, we are going to mark that anniversary by withdrawing our forces,” Cheney said during the news conference. “A withdrawal of forces that isn’t based on conditions on the ground is fundamentally dangerous.”
Biden said this week there was no military solution for the problems in the Middle East, so instead, he would focus on putting the U.S. government to work helping with diplomatic relations between the Taliban and Afghan government, according to USA Today.
The Biden administration warned the Taliban that any attacks on the U.S. during the withdrawal would be met with a forceful response, according to the White House.
The conflict with al Qaeda has cost the United States more than $2 trillion and 2,300 American lives. More than 38,000 Afghan civilians have been killed.