A former Obama-era ambassador to Afghanistan says he has „grave questions“ about President Biden’s „ability to lead“ America as the nation’s commander in chief following the stunning collapse of Afghanistan.
In an interview over the weekend, former Afghanistan Ambassador Ryan Crocker questioned the president’s leadership capabilities amid the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country.
Crocker, who has served as a diplomat under numerous administrations, accused Biden of either misreading the situation or not caring about the consequences of a hasty withdrawal.
„I’m left with some grave questions in my mind about his ability to lead our nation as commander in chief,“ Crocker remarked to the Spokane Spokesman-Review. „To have read this so wrong – or, even worse, to have understood what was likely to happen and not care.“
Crocker called the fallout around the troop withdrawal a „self-inflicted wound“ and said the road Afghanistan is taking was foretelling.
„I think the direction was predictable; the trajectory was not,“ he said. „What President Biden has done is to embrace the Afghan policy of President Trump, and this is the outcome.“
Trump signed off on the initial withdrawal agreement with the Taliban without the Afghan government in February of last year, with Biden announcing in April that his administration would exit from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021.
When asked for comment on Crocker’s remarks, a White House spokesperson pointed Fox News to national security adviser Jake Sullivan’s recent remarks defending the withdrawal.
„What the president was not prepared to do was enter a third decade of conflict, throwing in thousands more troops – which was his only other choice – to fight in the middle of a civil war that the Afghan army wouldn’t fight for itself. He would not do that to America’s men and women or their families. And that is why he made the decision with withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan,“ Sullivan said.
President Obama called Crocker back into diplomatic service in 2011 as the nation’s liaison to Kabul. Crocker earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor – for his diplomatic career.
Biden traveled to Camp David over the weekend amid the Afghan pullout fallout, drawing sharp criticism on both sides of the aisle for his botched handling of the withdrawal.
The Taliban took control of Kabul over the weekend, freeing thousands of prisoners from a former American base.