Every serious person knows that President Joe Biden is responsible for the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, says Ambassador Robert C. O’Brien, former National Security Adviser to President Trump.
For days, Biden has tried to pin the unfurling Afghanistan crisis on his predecessor. But O’Brien insisted the Republican administration would’ve handled the withdrawal differently.
“The first and obvious question, would this have happened had President Trump been reelected?” host Hugh Hewitt asked O’Brien on Monday’s “Hugh Hewitt Show.”
“No, look, it would have never happened in this manner. I mean, the President was committed to drawing down troops from Afghanistan, but when he left office, there were 2,500 American troops, importantly, 5,000 NATO troops. Kabul was free,” O’Brien said.
“Look, domestically on both sides of the aisle, everyone who is honest who will talk to you knows that President Trump would have never presided over a situation like this. That goes for our foreign friends and our foes alike. President Trump was all about peace through strength and America first,” he added. “And I don’t think anyone in an honest moment, whatever they’re saying now, believes that this could have happened under President Trump and the strength that he projected. And so you know, it’s a sad situation for America.”
In addition to noting that Trump promised he “would not preside over a Saigon-style retreat from Afghanistan,” O’Brien said “all the civilians would have had to have been evacuated” before withdrawing the military.
“He was not interested in at all seeing our foes driving around in American-made Humvees or vehicles or getting access to American weapons. So you know, it was critical that he wanted all the equipment retrograded back to America before we left,” O’Brien added. “And then of course, with the Taliban, any attacks on the United States which they have engaged in with our troops, failure to negotiate in good faith with the government of Afghanistan, those would have all been conditions that would have been, you know, slowed down or stopped withdrawal. So this wouldn’t have happened under [Trump].”
O’Brien then called on Americans to “pray for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and the leadership of this country” and implored the current administration to “evacuate our friends, the interpreters and other enablers, locally-employed staff of the embassy.”
“We’ve got to focus right now on making this evacuation work, as bad as things look,” O’Brien said.