President Joe Biden discounted criticism of his pullout from Afghanistan during an interview with CBS News Correspondent Rita Braver, released on Sunday — and claimed that he never supported the war.
During the interview, the president said “no one’s come up with a way to indicate to me” how to withdraw “without anybody getting hurt.”
Biden additionally stated that he opposed the war from the beginning in order to divert accountability for the catastrophic withdrawal earlier this year.
“Afghanistan. Well, I’ve been against that war in Afghanistan from the very beginning. We’re spending $300 million a week in Afghanistan over 20 years,” Biden claimed. “Everybody says, ‘You could have gotten out without anybody being hurt, no one’s come up with a way to indicate to me how that happens.”
Biden’s assertion that he opposed the conflict “from the very beginning” mirrored his remarks in a 2019 interview with the Seacoast Online editorial board.
However, Biden’s supposed claims of opposition to the conflict in Afghanistan do not appear to hold up. Biden, then a senator from Delaware, joined his associates in a unanimous vote supporting the 2001 authorization of war against “nations, organizations, or persons” that President George W. Bush specified as having aided the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City.
Biden has also continued to tout his resistance to President Barack Obama’s “surge” of auxiliary troops into Afghanistan — an executive move that was taken when Biden was vice president in 2009.
Opposition to that “surge” does not amount to Biden being against the conflict in Afghanistan since its beginning.
The President went on to downplay the criticism over his withdrawal from the embattled nation, as critics focus blame on President Biden for injury and casualties during the withdrawal of troops. Much of that criticism comes as a result of breaking his promise not to leave any Americans behind.
“If there’s American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them all out,” Biden told George Stephanopoulos in mid-August. But, on August 31, about two weeks later, the President marked the end of the war in Afghanistan. That event was marked by a speech in which he admitted: “about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg previously told Fox News that the post-withdrawal situation in Afghanistan is worse than the post-withdrawal situation in Iraq.