President Joe Biden's administration began carrying out a long-awaited withdrawal of American troops in Afghanistan after 20 years of war in the region stole hundreds of thousands of lives and cost nearly $1 trillion.
But the Taliban's fundamentalist regime soon retook the country at a dizzying pace unanticipated by administration officials, leading to chaos that endangered both Americans on the ground and Afghans who worked with them as allies of the United States. After the Taliban overtook the presidential palace in Kabul, the cities airport was flooded with thousands of residents desperately trying to escape.
The botched withdrawal is the Biden administration's biggest foreign policy disaster yet, but amid two decades' of futile war, no American President in recent history is blameless.
This is especially true for former President Donald Trump, whose administration extended unprecedented goodwill toward the Taliban to the point of openly negotiating with the group, securing the release of thousands of Taliban prisoners, and even inviting its leaders to Camp David on the week of September 11.
As the Biden administration faces intense scrutiny for the messiness of the withdrawal, Republican entities and elected officials have leapt to criticize the administration.
But the party's prior praise of Trump's withdrawal plan to remove American troops from the region by May disappeared from its website, as pointed out by the Washington Post's Dave Weigel.
How quickly can the politics around Afghanistan change? Here's a section on the RNC's website in June; click it now… https://t.co/w6d0UGNFZh— Dave Weigel (@Dave Weigel) 1629062813.0
According to Yahoo! News, this was on the GOP's webpage earlier this month.
"PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS CONTINUED TO TAKE THE LEAD IN PEACE TALKS AS HE SIGNED A HISTORIC PEACE AGREEMENT WITH THE TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN, WHICH WOULD END AMERICA'S LONGEST WAR."
Now, the page is nowhere to be found.
Deputy chief of staff for the Republican National Committee, Mike Reed, pushed back, calling Weigel's suggestion "dishonest."
This is so dishonest. We launched a new website last week… some of the old posts haven’t been carried over yet. Go… https://t.co/Y66ZcEIy8W— Mike Reed (@Mike Reed) 1629113876.0
Weigel later clarified the intent of his tweet.
This is obviously material from 2020 that stayed online for a while, not a new statement from June 2021. It just ju… https://t.co/8g0m8F5kCo— Dave Weigel (@Dave Weigel) 1629122590.0
According to Business Insider, the page was removed on August 15, as Kabul fell, so people were skeptical at Reed's claims, even though no posts from 2020 remain on the RNC's site.
@reed1311 @GOPChairwoman Nice try. You got caught dishonestly attempting to rewrite history...… https://t.co/PlCREeuivo— Jeff Mayers (@Jeff Mayers) 1629120599.0
But the RNC site is far from the only instance the party's figureheads expressed support for a swift withdrawal. As recently as June, Trump was crediting himself with the end to America's longest war.
People aren't forgetting.
Trump wanted to withdraw from Afghanistan on May 1st (months earlier). Republicans fully supported that plan. https://t.co/TCzfSgvlbQ— Kaivan Shroff (@Kaivan Shroff) 1629114752.0
Don’t ever forget, Republicans fully supported withdrawing troops from Afghanistan until they thought they could ma… https://t.co/EbfwwtHxoY— Jessie Shepherd (@Jessie Shepherd) 1629204438.0
Here is a prime example of Radical Republicans rewriting history, since Pro-Trump Lamborn supported the deal with t… https://t.co/NzSmP7w1Su— Foley4Colorado (@Foley4Colorado) 1629120678.0
3 months ago republicans were screaming “SECURE OUR BORDERS, GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN, ISOLATE”. The @GOP supported… https://t.co/NoutzAK4Hv— Long Strange Trip (@Long Strange Trip) 1629207019.0
I’m actually old enough to remember when Republicans not only supported the war in Afghanistan, they actually START… https://t.co/tU1PwgFJfi— Philip Allen (@Philip Allen) 1629073567.0
Whole lotta republicans who not only did nothing to improve prospects for success in #Afghanistan but actively supp… https://t.co/LEgNA6D44s— Left Crew Politics (@Left Crew Politics) 1629051922.0
The Biden administration now faces calls to ensure the rescue of as many Afghan refugees as possible.