Donald Trump has launched a fresh tirade against his successor, Joe Biden, this time taking aim at his response to the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan.

In a statement published on Saturday, as Taliban militants advanced through the country, the former US president claimed that Biden “gets it wrong every time” on foreign policy and that “everyone knew he couldn’t handle the pressure”.

“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.

“After I took out ISIS, I established a credible deterrent. That deterrent is now gone.”

He continued: “The Taliban no longer has fear or respect for America, or America’s power. What a disgrace it will be when the Taliban raises their flag over America’s embassy in Kabul. This is complete failure through weakness, incompetence, and total strategic incoherence.”

Critics have accused his fierce words of standing somewhat in contrast with his foreign policy during his presidency.

“America First”, a phrase he first mentioned at his inauguration, became his mantra as he made a number of drastic moves, including pulling his country out of the Paris agreement on climate change, and announcing his intention to withdraw the US from the World Health Organisation.

Trump’s intervention has been met with confusion on Twitter, with users accusing him of hypocrisy:

Trump’s diatribe came as Biden released his own statement on the crisis in Afghanistan, annoucing the deployment of 5,000 US troops to ensure the “orderly and safe drawdown” of US and allied personnel, and the “safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance”.

After setting out how his administration would help “prevent further bloodshed” in the region and “address future terrorist threats”, he went on to insist that he could not accept “an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict.”

The president said: “America went to Afghanistan 20 years ago to defeat the forces that attacked this country on September 11th. That mission resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden over a decade ago and the degradation of al Qaeda. And yet, 10 years later, when I became President, a small number of U.S. troops still remained on the ground, in harm’s way, with a looming deadline to withdraw them or go back to open combat.

“Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in U.S. history.

“One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.”

Making reference to Trump, he ended the statement: “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 U.S. Forces.

“Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. Forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500. Therefore, 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.

“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.”

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