Over 4,300 Veterans Praise Biden's Afghanistan Withdrawal: 'Right Thing to Do'

More than 4,300 veterans signed an open letter praising President Joe Biden's decision to end the war in Afghanistan, asserting that this was the "right thing to do."

The Taliban rapidly regained control of Afghanistan this month, retaking the capital Kabul last week—two weeks before the scheduled end of the U.S. withdrawal. Biden has faced substantial criticism for the chaotic end to the two-decade-long war, the longest in U.S. history. But the president has doubled-down in defense of the withdrawal, arguing that the U.S. had fully achieved its objectives in Afghanistan.

"We the undersigned are resolute in our support of President Biden's decision to end the war in Afghanistan," the thousands of veterans said in an open letter, which was published Friday by the political action committee VoteVets.

“Group of veterans, including those who fought in America’s longest war, write they are “resolute in our support of President Biden’s decision to end the war in Afghanistan.””

FULL LETTER HERE:https://t.co/KAGn0pJnMg pic.twitter.com/H8c9U5FgJt

— VoteVets (@votevets) August 20, 2021

Although VoteVets describes itself as progressive, it has previously endorsed Democrats and Republicans for office. Of those who signed the letter, VoteVets said that 150 had served in Afghanistan.

"What cannot happen is that the very same elites who pushed us into a 20-year war with no achievable military mission be given an outsized voice to comment on what's happening now. Let us be very clear—the people who got us into this mess have absolutely no right to say a word about how we get out of it. President Biden made a very tough call, knowing that this withdrawal would not be pretty, or flawless. He is cleaning up the terrible situation that the aforementioned people created, and he is dealing with a terrible agreement struck by the previous administration and the Taliban," the letter continued.

The veterans wrote that their support for Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan is "as resolute as ever." They said that "it is the right thing to do, no matter how many people in the chattering class want to claim otherwise."

President Joe Biden
A group of veterans signed an open letter praising President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. Above, Biden delivers remarks on the evacuation efforts in Afghanistan with VP Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the White House on August 20, 2021. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban was signed in February 2020 under the administration of former President Donald Trump. That initial agreement would have withdrawn all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by May 1. After Biden took office, he extended the withdrawal deadline to September 11, but later moved it forward to August 31. The Taliban regained near-total control of the country as of August 15.

With Kabul falling to the Taliban, the U.S. has scrambled to withdraw its remaining citizens and diplomats from the airport there. Thus far, the Taliban has allowed the withdrawal to move forward without significant impediments. Thousands of Afghans who worked with the U.S. and allied governments are also attempting to flee the country.

Other veterans have defended Biden and the decision to end the war. Former Representative Max Rose, a New York Democrat, said that the withdrawal was the "right thing to do." Rose served in Afghanistan as a platoon leader with the U.S. Army from 2012 to 2013.

"We could spend additional billions of dollars and lose even more lives, but it would only forestall this outcome and leave us no safer," Rose wrote in a Sunday Twitter thread. "Ending the war in Afghanistan was the right thing to do under Donald Trump and it's the right thing to do under Joe Biden," he added.

Newsweek reached out to VoteVets for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.