Chris Christie: Afghanistan withdrawal shows ‘limits of American military power’

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Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Briefing Room of the White House on 27 September, 2020 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Briefing Room of the White House on 27 September, 2020 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

Former New Jersey Gov Chris Christie offered criticism for the foreign policy decisions of past presidents on both sides of the aisle, including former President Donald Trump, when asked what lessons the US should take from its military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On ABC’s This Week the former presidential candidate who was once thought to be under consideration for a role in the Trump administration, possibly as attorney general, said that presidents from both parties had overestimated the usefulness of US military might as a tool for effecting change around the world.

“20 years … America’s longest war,” said host George Stephanopolous to Mr Christie. “Biggest lesson learned, biggest challenge ahead?”

“Well, look. The biggest lesson learned is once again the limits of American military power. It has utility to it, but it’s not a cureall for all our problems,” responded the Republican former governor.

“And we have to get much more creative, George, about our foreign policy than we’ve been, quite frankly over a number of administrations from George W. Bush through Barack Obama and Donald Trump,” Mr Christie continued.

The lesson learned, Mr Christie went on to say, was “coming” as the US had yet to see what the region will look like once the dust settles from the US’s withdrawal; as of recently, Taliban forces have been making significant gains in the country.

The former governor added that he sided with Republicans who have said that it is a mistake to leave Afghanistan without leaving a security force behind, a proposition that was rejected by President Joe Biden who has said that he does not see the possibility of a better outcome achievable by keeping US troops in the country.

The withdrawal of US troops was initiated last year by Mr Trump, who initially set a deadline for the pullout to complete by May 1.

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