Former national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster on Sunday said President Donald Trump’s decision to draw down troops in Afghanistan is doubling down “on all the flaws of the Obama administration.”
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” McMaster said there should be “at least” 5,000 troops left in the country.
“What President Trump has done is paradoxically doubled down on all the flaws of the Obama administration approach to Afghanistan by conjuring up the enemy we would prefer, instead of the actual enemy that we are facing in Afghanistan,” he said.
He criticized the Taliban as having established “control of large parts of Afghanistan” and said the U.S. troops’ absence will “give safe haven and support base to terrorist organizations who want to commit mass murder against us on the scale of 9/11.”
“We will be far less safe and vulnerable to these groups,” he added. “And I think what happened is the prioritization of withdrawal over our interests led to us actually empowering the Taliban.
“If we were going to leave, just leave, but don’t force the Afghan government to release 5,000 of the most heinous people on Earth. Don’t make this assumption that there is this bold line between the Taliban and these other terrorist organizations.”
“I think it’s abhorrent what we’re doing, and I hope that a Biden administration will reassess based again on what’s in it for us,” he urged.
McMaster also blasted as “very corrosive” Trump’s effort to litigate his way to an election victory.
“What concerns me is that the president’s kind of playing into the hands of our adversaries,” he said. “
“We should be confident” in our election security, he added.
“I think it was just a travesty to fire [the administration’s cyber security chief] Chris Krebs, because really what the administration should have done is taken credit for the vast improvements that the Trump administration made in our election security since 2016,” he said.
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