CHENEY: I think it’s a really reckless decision. And I think that, you know, you don’t end wars by announcing that you’re leaving. What you do is you cede the ground to your enemy.
We know, sadly, that obviously we were attacked from Afghanistan on Sept. 11, 2001. We know that the Taliban has not broken with Al Qaeda. We know that America’s presence there continues to help us conduct our counterterrorism mission, continues to help us with our intelligence mission … The president’s comments saying that he doesn’t understand why, 20 years later, we’re still there really says to me that he doesn’t understand a lot about what’s necessary to protect this nation.
If we’ve got to have forces deployed, a small number of forces deployed in order to help train the Afghan security forces, in order to help ensure that we don’t have civil war in Afghanistan so that Afghanistan does not again become a breeding ground for terror, a safe haven for terrorists, then we need to do that for our security. And withdrawing forces based on an announced date, a timeline, is not consistent with making sure that we are defending this country the way we need to. It should be based on decisions, conditions on the ground, and President Biden is ignoring conditions on the ground and, I suspect, also ignoring the advice of the military leaders on the ground.
I understand nobody wants wars to go on forever. At the same time, we know the death and destruction … that was caused on 9/11 and that could be caused again if terrorists establish safe havens. So the question that the commander-in-chief needs to ask, whether he’s a Republican or Democrat, is “What is required to maintain America’s national security?” And if that requires having a number of forces on the ground to conduct the kind of missions we need to to help ensure that the terrorists don’t establish control of territory from which they can launch attacks, again, we need to do that.
Simply announcing that we’re done, that we’re walking away, it was wrong when President Trump did it. It was wrong when President Obama did it. It is wrong when President Biden does it, and we saw the results of President Obama’s precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. You saw the rise of ISIS. You saw the establishment of the caliphate. And I’m very concerned that we are headed down a path that that could well be just as dangerous as that one was.
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