Joe Scarborough criticized President Joe Biden during Tuesday’s broadcast of “Morning Joe,” arguing that the administration had botched the exit from Afghanistan.
Scarborough began by pointing out the fact that many Americans on both sides of the aisle had been in favor of pulling American troops out of Afghanistan — and said that because of how badly the Biden administration had handled the withdrawal, the president had turned what could have been an easy win into a “political disaster.” (RELATED: Returning From Vacation, Biden Plays Blame Game As Afghanistan Falls)
“Most Americans did support a withdrawal from Afghanistan. An April poll showed 75% of Americans supported that withdrawal,” Scarborough said, noting that he and others in the foreign policy community had not been among those who supported the plan.
Scarborough went on to explain his position by saying that it was far from extraordinary for smaller contingencies of American troops to remain behind as safeguards in countries where they had initially been deployed to fight.
“I would argue that if we have 50,000 troops in Japan since 1945, 35,000 troops in Germany since 1945, over 30,000 troops in South Korea since 1953. If we had 12,000 troops in Italy since 1945. And if we have just a fraction of that, 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and an American troop hadn’t been killed in the last 18 months. Seems like a false deadline to me,” Scarborough said. “And I swear I can’t find a military person who thinks this was the right thing to do.”
Scarborough then noted that Biden had run for president on the promise that he would get troops out of Afghanistan, so it wasn’t a surprise that he would attempt to deliver on that promise.
“But there’s a right way to withdraw. And the president can say that he planned for every contingency, but he knows that’s not true. The White House knows that’s not true. And the American people know that’s not true,” Scarborough continued. “And that’s how a 75% proposition has devolved into a political disaster for this White House.”
Scarborough concluded that the White House needed to do something quickly to extract any remaining allies.
“They need to turn things around and the first thing they need to do is they need to save those who helped save our troops over the past 20 years. We just can’t keep abandoning allies in the field,” Scarborough said. “Donald Trump abandoned the Kurds. We’re abandoning our interpreters in Afghanistan. We just can’t keep going in, having people risk their lives and then leaving in the middle of the night like we have here from Bagram Air Force Base.