Joe Biden's Afghanistan withdraw is further splintering the GOP
Joe Biden (Shutterstock)

President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan is splintering the GOP, according to a new report by The New York Times.

The newspaper noted how Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) condemned the move at a press conference on Thursday.

"Other leading Republicans, some of whom condemned Mr. Trump's pledge to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by May 1, also pressed the traditional Republican viewpoint of using American might to protect the nation's interests," the newspaper noted. "Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, warned that pulling out the troops would be a 'grave mistake.'"

"But that view was far from uniform," the newspaper noted. "Senator Ted Cruz told CNN that he was 'glad the troops are coming home.' And Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, who has ambitions of developing a new policy framework for the party, praised the decision."

"For Republicans, the shift inward comes as their long dominance over issues of national security and international affairs is waning. Mr. Trump rejected Republican foreign policy orthodoxy but largely struggled to articulate a cohesive countervailing view beyond a vague notion of putting America first. He embraced strongmen, cast longtime allies as free riders and favored a transactional approach, rejecting any notion of the kind of values-driven foreign policy that had defined the party for decades," the newspaper reported. "The party's foreign policy establishment found itself exiled from Mr. Trump's government and fighting for relevance against an insurgent isolationist party base."

"Foreign policy, particularly withdrawing from Afghanistan, was one of the few areas where Republican elected officials were willing to publicly criticize Mr. Trump. Now that he has left office, foreign policy experts who condemned Mr. Trump throughout his administration, and endorsed Mr. Biden by the dozens, are hopeful that party consensus will revert to the traditional Republican values of free trade, more open immigration and a re-embrace of international alliances," the newspaper explained. "Yet chances that Republicans will achieve a complete restoration of the traditional party platform seem low, particularly if Mr. Trump continues to flex his political power among his base. The former president captured the hearts and minds of his followers, shifting opinions on issues of globalism. During his administration, polling showed Republican voters adopted a more positive view of Russia and became more skeptical of trade agreements and international alliances."

Read the full report.