The chaos and confusion of the debacle that unfolded in Afghanistan is both infuriating and disheartening. It’s a disaster on multiple levels and, if nothing else, President Biden’s determination to withdraw could have at least been accompanied with a plan.
Before talking about how or why this happened and where we go from here, something needs to be said for those who served our country in Afghanistan. Both those who returned home and those who didn’t, the families of those who were lost in the war and those who will never be the same, you need to know that as we watch this unfold, we are all thinking of you. Your sacrifice and bravery in keeping our Nation safe did not and does not go unnoticed.
Undoubtedly, some have wondered if it was worth it. Look no further than what the Taliban has already done and the things we fully expect them to do and it’s clear that having them in power is detrimental to our safety and security. When you see Al-Qaeda terrorists being released from jail, you know that terrorism will be on the rise. Those who made Afghanistan a place that wasn’t a safe haven for terrorists protected the United States. What you did was not in vain.
However, what the President did was in vain—a campaign promise without a plan. This had nothing but disaster written all over it. In fact, my colleagues and I on the House Armed Services Committee have been asking for months for a plan on how President Biden intended to leave Afghanistan and do it without letting it fall to the Taliban and without increased casualties. He never presented us with a plan, and I believe that’s because there was no plan. What we’ve witnessed so far makes that pretty evident and his refusal to acknowledge it makes it even worse.
Going forward, the question remains the same: President Biden, what is your plan for Afghanistan? Veterans of the war, their families, interpreters, American contractors, the Afghan people who were able to taste freedom, and the American people—we all deserve to know and we intend to find out.