- The Taliban seized Afghanistan with unexpected speed as the US withdrew troops.
- The troop pullout happened under Biden but came from a deal negotiated by Trump.
- UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace on Monday blamed the Afghanistan crisis on Trump.
The UK’s defense minister blamed the chaos in Afghanistan on former US President Donald Trump on Monday.
The Taliban seized Kabul and declared a new government on Sunday, after taking over most of the rest of the country with unexpected speed as US forces withdrew after 20 years.
The withdrawal came after a conditional peace deal negotiated by then-President Trump in 2020 that mentioned the withdrawal of US and NATO forces.
Current President Joe Biden has largely upheld that deal. Biden said he trusted Afghan forces and said the US could not justify remaining in the country after 20 years.
Biden could end up shouldering much of the blame for what’s to come: Many Afghans who helped US forces were still stranded in Afghanistan and fear Taliban punishment.
But UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace has pointed the finger at Trump.
He told “BBC Breakfast” on Monday: “The die was cast when the deal was done by Donald Trump, if you want my observation.”
“President Biden inherited a momentum, a momentum that had been given to the Taliban because they felt they had now won. He’d also inherited a momentum of troop withdrawal from the international community, the US.”
“So I think in that sense, the seeds of what we’re seeing today were before President Biden took office. The seeds were a peace deal that was [effectively] rushed, that wasn’t done in collaboration properly with the international community and then a dividend taken out incredibly quickly.”
He had previously called Trump’s deal “rotten” and said the international community would likely “pay the consequences.”