Ret. Gen. Keane Slams Biden Decision to Exit Afghanistan Ahead of Anniversary

Ret. Gen. Keane Slams Biden Decision to Exit Afghanistan Ahead of Anniversary Ret. Gen. Keane Slams Biden Decision to Exit Afghanistan Ahead of Anniversary President Donald Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House in March 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By Jay Clemons | Sunday, 14 August 2022 02:15 PM EDT

Monday will mark the one-year anniversary of the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan. This invasion eventually led to President Joe Biden ordering the United States to implement a full withdrawal of its military forces in that country.

On the eve of this somewhat-dubious anniversary, since the timeline nearly coincides with the deaths of 13 American soldiers in the capital city of Kabul (explosion at airport), Ret. 4-star General Jack Keane says Afghanistan has subsequently devolved into a "sanctuary of terrorism."

While speaking with Fox News on Sunday morning, Keane said, "The very reason [U.S. military forces] went there, the very reason we stayed there for 20 years, [was] to ensure that terrorists did not rise again, attack the American people," said Keane. "And we're right back where we started."

The "sanctuary of terrorism" comment, according to Keane, was exacerbated by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri's recent presence in Kabul, prior to being killed by a CIA drone strike.

Ayman al-Zawahiri's death might have been a triumph for counter-terrorism experts, but it also means the Taliban had been harboring/protecting al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Keane explained.

Retired since 2003, Keane has been the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, personally awarded by then-President Donald Trump. During his time in office, Trump sought the regular counsel of General Keane on military matters abroad.

For his Fox News appearance, Keane characterized the current state of Afghanistan as "tragic" and "preventable."

"What did this decision get us?" Keane rhetorically asked, regarding the U.S. withdrawal.

Keane then added, "It got us the Taliban in charge, again, providing sanctuary to the al Qaeda, and so al-Zawahiri's killing resurrected the fact that he's living in a Taliban house, in a neighborhood that I've been to many times where senior Taliban leaders are in residence."

President Biden's job-approval ratings have tangibly declined since last summer, nearly syncing up with the controversial Afghanistan withdrawal.

In the days leading up to the U.S. exit last August, Biden scolded White House reporters for taking such a negative historical view of the Taliban takeover of that country.

Around this time, Biden said that, unlike the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 70s, there wouldn't be any images of U.S. citizens "being lifted off the roof" of an embassy building, via helicopter.

Shortly after, though, parallel images or videos were captured at the Kabul embassy, with U.S. citizens being rescued by helicopter.

Women's rights in Afghanistan have seemingly not progressed over the last year.

On Saturday, the French media outlet AFP reported that roughly 40 women protesters were chased and beaten by Taliban fighters in Kabul.

The women were reportedly demanding "bread, work, and freedom," while marching in front of the education ministry building.

Other marchers chanted, "Justice! Justice! We're fed up with ignorance," according to AFP.

Various reports also say that Taliban fighters used the "butts" of rifles to injure or intimidate that group of marchers.

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