During a discussion with former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker, Fox Business Network host Larry Kudlow agreed with his guest’s assessment that it was a mistake for the Trump administration to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners and pledge to pull American forces out of the country without a contingency plan.
The Biden administration has maintained the pledge to withdraw troops by August 31, and the Taliban has already retaken the country.
Kudlow, of course, was the Director of the National Economic Council under President Donald Trump, and advised the president on key economic policy matters.
The Fox Business host said the Trump administration had negotiated a “peace deal,” but suggested President Joe Biden “could’ve walked away” from it. “He also could’ve poured, I think, combat forces or certainly air forces into this,” said Kudlow. “So I don’t think his hands were ever tied by Trump or anybody else. What’s your thinking on this?”
Crocker disputed Kudlow’s characterization of the arrangement as a peace deal, instead calling it “an American surrender.”
“There’s lots of blame to go around,” said the former ambassador, but “there was no peace agreement with the Taliban.”
What President Trump set in motion, sitting down it with the Taliban without the government of Afghanistan, made it clear from the first day this was not about peace. This was about an American surrender. And we had no interest in fostering a genuine peace process. We wanted to do whatever it took to be sure we could extract our forces that the Taliban shooting at us as we went. And we did shameful things, I gotta be honest. We basically forced the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners.
They definitely did not want to that. We forced them to do it. What happened? those guys got right back in the fight. So, if you’re troubled by the Afghan national security forces cutting and running, which they did, we set them up for it. We started saying and repeated it and repeated it, “We’re doing a deal with the Taliban, and then we are going home.”
Well, not a lot of folks are going to stand and fight when they’ve already been told they are just abandoned.
“Well that was an inexcusable mistake,” said Kudlow. “I couldn’t agree more on that particular point.”
Watch above via Fox Business Network.
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