(USA Features) Former President Donald Trump is urging his successor to keep his original date of May 1 to pull out the remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan rather than moving it back to September 11, which will be the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
“I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11th as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, for two reasons,” Trump said in a statement issued by his office.
“First, we can and should get out earlier,” Trump said, citing the president’s initial May 1 date.
“Nineteen years is enough, in fact, far too much and way too long. I made early withdraw possible by already pulling much of our billions of dollars of equipment out and, more importantly, reducing our military presence to less than 2,000 troops from the 16,000 level that was there (likewise in Iraq, and zero troops in Syria except for the area where we KEPT THE OIL),” he added.
The second reason, said the former president, is that Sept. 11 has long represented a “day of reflection” and the withdrawal will take away from that.
“September 11th represents a very sad event and period for our Country and should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost,” he wrote. “Getting out of Afghanistan is a wonderful and positive thing to do. I planned to withdraw on May 1st, and we should keep as close to that schedule as possible.”
In recent days, Biden announced he would disregard a 14-month withdrawal period established by the Trump administration, NATO, and the Taliban in February 2020 and withdraw the remaining 2,500 U.S. forces between May 1 and Sept. 11.
We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result,” Biden said in his speech Wednesday.
“I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”