While President Trump’s decision to keep troops in Afghanistan has been widely lauded as a wise move an an end to failed Obama-era military policies, it has been criticized by some of the president’s supporters who were hoping the president would remove troops from Afghanistan based on tweets from 2013.
President Trump’s decision to continue providing aid to the government of Afghanistan in order to keep a new terrorist organization from forming was previewed in 2015, when Trump said as much in a CNN interview. Throughout the campaign, it was President Trump’s plan to keep troops in Afghanistan, as even though the president lambasted the invasion and subsequent occupation as “stupid,” he believed that pulling troops out of the country would create the same type of power vacuum that created ISIS.
In the CNN interview from October of 2015, President Trump told the interview that the United States “made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place,” and that “it’s a mess, it’s a mess and at this point we probably have to (leave U.S. troops in Afghanistan) because that thing will collapse in about two seconds after they leave.”
However, many supporters of the the president apparently missed this interview and the subsequent articles written about it, and have been posting screenshots of four-year-old tweets in an attempt to frame President Trump as a neoconservative.
Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2013
Can you believe that the Afghan war is our “longest war” ever—bring our troops home, rebuild the U.S., make America great again.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2013
On the surface, they would seem to have a case. However, these tweets were both from January of 2013, long before the consequences of President Obama’s knee-jerk withdrawal of troops from Iraq were known.
In President Trump’s own words, “Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama” when they left a power vacuum in Iraq.
Rather than backing down, President Trump made this one of the mainstays of his campaign speeches and debate points throughout the campaign. By leaving Iraq too early and without a stable government, President Obama and Hillary Clinton created ISIS.
The Iraqi government was propped up entirely by the United States military, and when the United States left, the Iraqi government became so insolvent that a power vacuum occurred, and the radical Islamic terrorist group ISIS was born.
Rather than repeat the mistakes of the last president, President Trump learned from recent history, and is taking a different approach. Stabilize the government of Afghanistan, stop nation building, stop forcing our way of life on people who have no desire to have it, and keep the country from once again turning into a terrorist training ground.