President Joe Biden plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City.
Many Republicans are condemning the president’s plan because they believe that it’s not the right time to remove the troops.
“Precipitously withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. It is a retreat in the face of an enemy that has not yet been vanquished and abdication of American leadership,” Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, said. “Leaders in both parties, including me, offered criticism when the prior administration floated the concept of a reckless withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan.”
“President Biden will have, in essence, canceled an insurance policy against another 9/11,” Lindsay Graham, South Carolina Senator, said.
Not all Republicans disagreed with the president’s decision.
“Bringing our troops home should not be taken as a sign that America will be any less vigilant in protecting American lives and those of our allies, but we can do so without a permanent military presence in a hostile terrain,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz said.
There are mixed feelings among Democrats.
“For nearly 20 years, we have adopted a costly war-based approach to national security and counterterrorism policy with no clear endgame,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen tweeted that she was disappointed with the Presidents decision.
“Although this decision was made in coordination w/our allies, the U.S. has sacrificed too much to bring stability to Afghanistan to leave w/o verifiable assurances of a secure future,” Shaheen tweeted. “It undermines our commitment to the Afghan people, particularly Afghan women.”
“I certainly will not be supportive of any assistance to Afghanistan if there is backsliding on civil society, the rights that women have been able to achieve. And if the Taliban ultimately doesn’t keep its obligations, then there will be consequences and one of them will be that there will be no money flowing. So I don’t know how they will rebuild the country,” Senator Bob Menendez, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman, said.
“We also have to maintain a presence for regional stability. We have two nuclear-armed powers in the region, particularly with respect to Pakistan. And so we’ll be active diplomacy as well as active counterterrorism continuing,” Jack Reed, Senate Armed Services Chairman, said. “It’s a very difficult decision by the President. I think it was shaped by a number of factors. I think the agreement itself really gave Taliban the green light that after May 1st we couldn’t be there any longer. So we inherited that.”