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Vanderbilt professor says crisis in Afghanistan could have impact on American credibility

APTOPIX Afghanistan
Posted at 11:02 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 00:02:43-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — President Joe Biden's administration faces sharp criticism for how the U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan was implemented, and for massively underestimating the speed of the Taliban's takeover.

The president admitted on Monday it happened sooner than most expected, but blamed fleeing Afghan leaders and troops for the country's stunning collapse.

"American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves," he said.

Vanderbilt history and political science professor Thomas Schwartz, who teaches a course on the U.S. and the Middle East, shared his take on what's happening in the country.

He says leaders underestimated the impact this type of disaster could have on American credibility around the world.

Schwartz also doesn't think what happened means troops will be deployed to Afghanistan again.

"The only way which we may go back, and this is a terrible one, is if Afghanistan does indeed become a base for terrorist actions, and you get another 9/11 type incident coming out of Afghanistan. That would send us back. It would be a disaster, but it would send us back there," he explained.

Schwartz called the situation an "unforced error" on the Biden Administration, but says the president made a deliberate choice to get out.