Gen. Petraeus Slams Biden's 'Hasty' Afghanistan Withdrawal

By i24
Posted on 07/19/21 | News Source: i24

"I fear that we will look back and regret the decision to withdraw.”

A former US military commander in Afghanistan warned that the situation in the country was falling apart even before the large American contingent of NATO troops has completed its final drawdown.

Gen. David Petraeus, who also formerly served as CIA director, blasted the Biden administration's handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal telling CNN, “I fear that we will look back and regret the decision to withdraw.”

Speaking on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Petraeus said, "The situation on the ground has become increasingly dire with each passing week," reported Politico.

Petraeus is not the first former US official to publicly question the wisdom of US President Joe Biden's seemingly precipitous withdrawal of American troops - particularly as the evidence is already on the ground that the Taliban far from being completely defeated has regained much of its previous territory.

Last week, former President George W. Bush used an interview with the German outlet Deutsche Welle to publicly called the withdrawal a "mistake" and decried that civilians were being "left to be slaughtered."

Petraeus joined that chorus Sunday, as Biden has incrementally pushed forward the proposed date of full withdrawal. He had initially planned for the final drawdown to take place by September 11 - the 20th anniversary of the attacks on American soil that precipitate the invasion of Afghanistan. Recently, he advised that the end of August would be the revised date. 

"Sadly, we may regret that sooner than I had originally thought when I said that right after the decision was announced," Petraeus maintained. "Beyond that, I think we will also look back and regret the hasty way in which we seem to be doing this," he added.

The general explained that it was not just the United States' 3,500 troops that were at issue, it was also the more than 8,000 NATO soldiers and 15,000 contractors, many of whom were crucial for maintaining the Afghan Air Force.

"We have to continue to combat the Islamist extremist with a sustained sustainable commitment and that should be the way we go at these. You can’t win them. You can manage them,” he concluded.