WASHINGTON – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) released the following statement in response to news of President Biden’s planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan:
“I am informed that the President intends to withdraw all US Troops by September. I am curious to hear what leverage President Biden believes announcing our withdraw gives the United States. Just yesterday, the Taliban backed out of the summit in Turkey, which was an attempt to broker peace talks between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan.
“I am concerned that the President is so desperate to get a deal done, that he is willing to capitulate, rather than insist US strategic objectives are met.
“Since the United States entered into the agreement with the Taliban in February 2020, the United States has continued to fulfill their terms of the deal, the Taliban has not. Complete withdrawal of U.S. troops has always been conditions based. Of those conditions, Intra-Afghan negotiations have been tepid, at best; violence has been at distressingly high levels; and members of Al Qaeda have been operating in Afghanistan as recently as March.
“For all these reasons and more, I fear our complete withdraw will be a costly mistake. Maintaining the capability of coalition troops to continue gathering valuable intelligence and leading counterterrorism efforts with our NATO partners is more important than fulfilling a campaign promise.
“Moreover, this complete withdrawal sends exactly the wrong message to other adversaries like Iran, China, and Russia.”
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