Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday said former President Trump was right about “trying to end endless wars,” hours after President Biden laid out his plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and end America’s longest war by the Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that sparked the conflict.
When asked by host Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room” about Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Sanders applauded the president’s decision, while also commending Trump for the deal he struck for troop withdrawal while in office.
“What President Biden is doing is picking up on the negotiated agreement that President Trump put together,” Sanders said.
“I am not a great fan of Donald Trump and his administration, but he was right in trying to end endless wars. These wars cannot continue to go on forever, and we’ve got to learn that in many respects, diplomacy, various types of educational aid, health care aid, is much more important and much more effective than an occupying force on the ground,” Sanders added.
In February 2020, Trump signed a deal with the Taliban that called for a full U.S. withdrawal of troops by May, if the group upheld certain commitments such as denying safe haven to al Qaeda. The deadline was set for May 1.
Sanders added that the U.S. has to do “the best we can” in supporting the Afghan military and government, noting that “we do not need to spend huge amounts of money doing that, we do not need to put American lives at stake.”
He also said the soldiers who gave their lives in the war and the $2 trillion expenditure are “enough.”
Biden on Wednesday, in a speech delivered in the Treaty Room of the White House, the same room where former President George W. Bush announced the start of the war, unveiled his plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11.
“War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking. We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. Bin Laden is dead, and al Qaeda is degraded in Iraq — in Afghanistan. And it’s time to end the forever war,” Biden said.