Congress

Republicans’ Hypocritical Flip-Flop On Afghanistan

After heaping praise on Donald Trump for his plan to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Republicans have made a “collective U-turn” in the last two weeks and now favor a military presence in the country that costs thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. The political games from the GOP began as the Biden administration executed the successful withdrawal of more than 125,000 Americans and Afghan allies – putting an end to the 20-year war

According to the New York Times, Republicans gave Trump’s negotiations with the Taliban “their full-throated support.” But, eager to score cheap political points, the party has flipped flopped in a stunning display of hypocrisy.

“It’s beyond shameful that the GOP would use American troops and our Afghan allies as political pawns in a nakedly hypocritical attack on President Biden for following through on the plan they proudly supported under the previous administration,” said American Bridge 21st Century president Jessica Floyd. “Despite feigned, performative outrage from Republicans and immense pressure from the media, President Biden stood firm in his commitment to ending forever war and oversaw one of the largest and most successful airlifts in history, rescuing more than 125,000 people in a matter of weeks. Whether it’s surging vaccine distribution to end the pandemic, kick starting a recovery that builds a fairer economy, or following through on his promise to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, Joe Biden’s clear-eyed, resolute leadership has met the moment and the majority of Americans stand with him.”

The New York Times: On Afghanistan, G.O.P. Assails the Pullout It Had Supported Under Trump

By: Reid Epstein & Catie Edmondson | September 1, 2021

Key Points:

  • “Now, the three are among dozens of prominent Republicans who, with President Biden seeing the pullout through, have sharply reversed themselves — assailing Mr. Biden even as he keeps a promise that Mr. Trump had made, and carries out a policy to which they had given their full-throated support.”
  • “The collective U-turn reflects Republicans’ eagerness to attack Mr. Biden and ensure that he pays a political price for the way he ended the war. With Mr. Trump reversing himself as the withdrawal grew chaotic and, in its endgame, deadly, it also offers new evidence of how allegiance to the former president has come to override compunctions about policy flip-flops or political hypocrisy.”
  • “‘You can’t be going out there and saying, ‘This war was worthless and we need to bring the troops home’ in May, and now hitting Biden for doing just that,’ said Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a Republican who broke with Mr. Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and has long favored maintaining a military presence in Afghanistan. ‘There’s no shame anymore.’”
  • “After his defeat last November, Republicans clung to Mr. Trump’s America-first line. They urged Mr. Biden to stick to the May 1 deadline, and publicly groused when Mr. Biden extended the date for a withdrawal until Aug. 31.”
  • “Their efforts, however, have been complicated by Mr. Trump’s rhetorical reversal, leaving Republicans struggling to articulate a view that does not contradict either his previous support for leaving Afghanistan or his current stance in criticizing the pullout.”
  • “Republicans have yet to name specific conditions that they believe the Taliban have violated. And those who praised Mr. Trump’s plan but assailed Mr. Biden’s withdrawal have volunteered few substantive suggestions for what the president should have done differently.”

Read the full report here.

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