Speed Reads

2020 Democratic debates

Joe Biden said he consistently opposed Obama's Afghanistan surge. Obama alumni say he's right.

The Washington Post is publishing a series of reports, based on government documents, detailing U.S. efforts to mislead the public with rosy assessments of a stagnant war in Afghanistan over three administrations. Moderators of Thursday's night's Democratic presidential debate asked Joe Biden, who was vice president in one of those administrations, about testimony that the Obama White House pressured the Pentagon to show a surge of troops was producing results when the evidence said otherwise.

"I'm the guy, from the beginning, who argued that it was a big, big mistake to surge forces to Afghanistan, period," Biden said. "We should not have done it. And I argued against it, constantly."

Fact check: True. Reporters who covered former President Barack Obama's 2009 deliberations about whether to pull out of Afghanistan or double down confirm that Biden was on the losing side of that policy fight, as do Obama White House alumni who were actually part of the deliberations.

The U.S. still has troops in Afghanistan.