America’s former vice president Mike Pence this week criticized the Biden administration for having withdrawn all US troops from Afghanistan, saying that the disastrous withdrawal “dishonored the sacrifices and services of Americans in uniform”.
In an interview with Fox News on the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attack – that left nearly 3,000 people dead – Pence said:
“I must tell you that the disaster withdrawal from Afghanistan dishonored the services and sacrifices of Americans in freedom who defended our freedom and [have] done their part to prevent another major terrorist attack on American soil over the past two decades.”
He also said that the withdrawal of troops emboldened those who could harm the US.
Also weighing in on the 9/11 anniversary was Afghanistan’s former vice president Amrullah Saleh who said on X, formerly Twitter, that the complete withdrawal of US troops was an historic shame.
“What the US did to the Afghan people isn’t just an escape from responsibility. It is an historic shame, indelible sin & morale booster for terrorists,” he said.
The US and its allies entered Afghanistan in October of 2001 following the 9/11 attack. After 20 years of fighting, the US withdrew its last soldier on August 31 2021, leaving behind a country in a state of uncertainty.
Major General Chris Donahue was the last US service member to leave Afghanistan. By the time he boarded a military flight out of Kabul, the former government had collapsed and the Taliban had regained control of the country.
In the two years since, the Taliban has imposed harsh restrictions on freedom of speech and religious minorities as well as women. Afghanistan also plunged into a humanitarian crisis.