- Former President Donald Trump criticized President Joe Biden on his Afghanistan withdrawal strategy.
- "He ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him," he said.
- Biden alleged that Trump "left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001."
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Former President Donald Trump on Saturday blasted President Joe Biden for not "following the plan" that the Republican administration crafted regarding a withdrawal from Afghanistan.
During his 2016 campaign and continuing at the White House, Trump said he would keep the United States "out of endless and costly foreign wars," and this weekend, the former president took time to criticize what he perceives as Biden's foreign policy "weakness."
"He ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him - a plan that protected our people and our property, and ensured the Taliban would never dream of taking our Embassy or providing a base for new attacks against America," he said in a statement. "The withdrawal would be guided by facts on the ground."
He added: "After I took out ISIS, I established a credible deterrent. That deterrent is now gone. The Taliban no longer has fear or respect for America, or America's power."
Biden has long sought to end the war in Afghanistan, which has been ongoing for nearly 20 years.
On Saturday, Biden appeared to shift the blame for any sort of Afghanistan blunder to Trump, who he said left the Taliban "in the strongest position militarily since 2001."
"When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor - which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019 - that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on US forces," the president said. "Shortly before he left office, he also drew US forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500."
Last November, the number of troops in the country was roughly 4,000, before Trump ordered a reduction.
When Biden announced in April that he sought to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, Trump called the development "a wonderful and positive thing to do," much to the consternation of many Republicans who feared the loss of democratic gains in the country.
In his Saturday statement, Biden continued by saying that he did not want another president to inherit the longstanding conflict.
"When I became President, I faced a choice - follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our Forces and our allies' Forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country's civil conflict," he said. "I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan - two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth."
On Saturday, Mazar-i-Sharif, the fourth-largest city in Afghanistan and the government's last northern stronghold, fell to the Taliban, as insurgents carried out a sweeping military campaign in seizing provincial capitals.
Taliban forces on Saturday captured Jalalabad, the capital of the eastern Nangarhar province.
Shortly thereafter, NBC News reported that insurgents were entering Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, to "stop looting" in the city.
The Associated Press reported that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country as the Taliban advanced into the capital. Afghan Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah said in a video statement that Ghani had left the country, referring to him as the "former president."
Biden on Saturday authorized 5,000 troops to aid US personnel in leaving the country.