Smucker Calls for Afghanistan Investigation, Offers Assistance

August 20, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Representative Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) released the following statement:  

“As the crisis in Afghanistan continues to unfold, I want to provide an update and offer a few more of my thoughts. 

As of Thursday, we have heard reports that as many as 15,000 American citizens remain in Afghanistan. The Taliban has set up check points on the road to the Kabul Airport, preventing many from accessing the airport as they attempt to get to safety. Others, especially those not in Kabul, have gone into hiding. Ensuring that Americans and our allies can safely and swiftly evacuate is the top priority. 

It is deeply disturbing that President Biden, Defense Secretary Austin, Secretary of State Blinken, along with other key decision-makers in the administration gave the green light for the U.S. Defense and State Departments to shut down operations and leave Kabul knowing that they were abandoning American citizens and our allies. President Biden’s response as well as those from his cabinet are repugnant and show a disastrous lack of leadership.

I am calling for a thorough and immediate investigation into the decisions that were made by all of the officials involved in the process that led to the crisis we are currently seeing unfold in Afghanistan. If President Biden or other administration officials possessed the knowledge that they would be leaving American citizens behind and in danger, they should resign immediately. 

When President Biden finally addressed the nation, he doubled down on his argument to withdraw and blamed others for his failures. This was unacceptable, we know the Taliban was not living up to their side of the deal. Our Commander in Chief should have adjusted our military plans accordingly, not blindly pursue a doomed promise. 

I implore the President to listen to the American people: this is not about why we were there, this is about how you had no plan to leave. The fatally flawed decision of turning the keys over to an Afghan government who was so quickly overcome by the Taliban has resulted in grave danger not only to American lives, but our Afghan allies who helped keep our nation safe against the threat of terrorists. The promises made to the individuals who continue to risk their lives by serving alongside the U.S. military must be fulfilled. 

I am disappointed to see the collapse of the Afghan government and question why the Taliban was able so swiftly to retake control of the country. Our nation is horrified at the atrocities taking place under Taliban rule. Afghans, especially women, and the world are worse off with Jihadists ruling Afghanistan. What is happening in Afghanistan is not in isolation; it will have a ripple effect throughout the Middle East, and embolden many who wish to do us harm. Further, there are some in the international community who will recognize these terrorists as legitimate governments and partner with them, causing further harm to America and our allies.

Our mission in Afghanistan was about protecting the world from the evils of terrorists. I am deeply grateful to the thousands of service members, civilians and their families who made tremendous sacrifices to fulfill this mission and prevent further terror attacks on the homeland for the past two decades. To all service members and civilians who serve overseas, I thank you for keeping the lives of millions of Americans and Afghans safe,” said Rep. Smucker.  

U.S. Citizens in need of Assistance

If you are, or know, a U.S. citizen in need of repatriation to the United States you can request assistance by visiting the U.S. Department of State Afghanistan Inquiries page

If you are a citizen of PA-11 and have completed the repatriation assistance form, or if you are a citizen of PA-11 with family in Afghanistan and need assistance, please contact my office at https://smucker.house.gov/contact/email.