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‘Dumber than dirt’: Graham slams Biden decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan

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lindsey graham

President Joe Biden is expected to formally announce on Wednesday that the U.S. will withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by September 11, multiple outlets are reporting Tuesday, citing U.S. officials. This prompted a fiery retort from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who called it “a disaster in the making” and “dumber than dirt”.

The move will bring the almost two-decade war, America’s longest, to an end by the date of the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which prompted the initial invasion of Afghanistan.

The decision was reported earlier on Tuesday by The Washington Post.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the decision will revise a Trump administration plan for a withdrawal by May 1 of this year. Former President Donald Trump was especially vocal about ending this war and other “forever wars”.

The U.S. is coordinating the withdrawal of its roughly 3,500 troops with NATO allies, which now contribute the bulk of forces to the conflict with its own 6,500 troops, officials said, according to The Journal.

Biden concluded that al Qaeda and associated groups no longer pose a threat to the U.S. homeland and that keeping U.S. forces in Afghanistan is no longer necessary, officials said, according to the newspaper. Officials also said that the withdrawal by September 11 is a hard deadline and not a target based on conditions on the ground, as opposed to other drawdown plans.

Notably, U.S. forces will instead be scattered across South and Central Asia, according to The Journal. This, according to the newspaper, could let the U.S. to maintain a military presence in the surrounding region and allow it to monitor Afghanistan all while ending the conflict.

Sen. Graham was particularly upset by reports of the decision, and said in a Tuesday statement that a “full withdrawal from Afghanistan is so irresponsible, it makes the Biden Administration policies at the border look sound,” also accusing Biden of, “in essence,” canceling “an insurance policy against another 9/11.”

“A residual counterterrorism force would be an insurance policy against the rise of radical Islam in Afghanistan that could pave the way for another attack against our homeland or our allies,” Graham argued.

“I hope our military advised against this withdrawal because I know what is most likely to happen: a reigniting of the Afghan Civil War and reversing all gains for Afghan women and children,” the senator continued. “The void created by this fight benefits ISIS and al Qaeda, who still reside in Afghanistan.”

“I think it is insane to withdraw at this time given the conditions that exist on the ground in Afghanistan,” Graham also said. “I know people are frustrated, but wars don’t end because you’re frustrated. Wars end when the threat is eliminated.”

“President Trump kept a residual force, but he did set a hard withdrawal date, which I thought was very bad, ill-conceived policy.”

“Now we have, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the complete withdrawal in spite of all the intelligence assessments, Graham continued. “I find it ironic that, given the sacrifices we’ve made to move Afghanistan forward, prevent another 9/11, and ensure the enduring defeat of al Qaeda and ISIS, that on the 20th anniversary of the attack we’re paving the way for another attack.”

“All of America’s allies were willing to stay if we were willing to stay,” the senator concluded. “To announce a full withdrawal sends a signal of incredible weakness to adversaries like al Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah, China, Russia, and Iran.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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White House admits Iran ‘few weeks or less’ from nuclear breakout; quickly blame Trump

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Naturally, the Biden Administration quickly attempted to blame former President Trump for Iran’s most recent nuclear development. It’s not surprising the White House made a desperate attempt to deflect, as Press Secretary Jen Psaki was forced to admit Iran’s “breakout period” for a nuclear weapon “is down from about a year…to just a few weeks or less.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed Iran’s “breakout” time was “down to a matter of weeks.” The Times of Israel notes that the breakout period refers to the amount of time “it will take Iran to amass enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, if its chooses to do so.”

The Times of Israel notes that a distinction must be made: “having enough nuclear material for a bomb is not he same as having the capabilities to build the core of the weapon and to attach it to the warhead of a missile, which would likely take more time.”

Psaki told reporters at Tuesday’s press conference that Iran’s nuclear development “definitely worries us.”

“If we go back, under the Iran nuclear deal, Iran’s nuclear program was tightly constrained,” she said. “Since the Trump administration ceased US participation in the deal, Iran has rapidly accelerated its nuclear program.”

“That is a direct impact of pulling out of the nuclear deal, making us less safe, giving us less visibility, and it’s one of the reasons we pursued a diplomatic path again,” Psaki said.

Psaki’s comments are laughable, considering Iran has never given any proof of abiding by any deal. The 2015 nuclear deal gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for guarantees it would not develop a nuclear weapon.

As the Times of Israel writes, curbing its nuclear weapons development is something Iran “has always denied wanting to do.” In 2018, knowing full well that Iran had zero intention of abiding by the deal, President Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord and reimposed sanctions against Iran.

Ever since Biden took office, one of the first things his administration did was begin negotiations with Iran via intermediaries in Vienna. The talks have gone nowhere.

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