Smucker Statement on American Withdrawal from Afghanistan

September 3, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) released the following statement in response to President Biden’s remarks on August 31, 2021:

“In his address to the nation, the president recognized the escalating threat of terrorism around the world. He mentioned threats from al Qaeda and the growing push by ISIS to establish a caliphate. Yet he remains defiant that he can best protect Americans from this threat by handing power over to the Taliban. He is delusional in his belief that the Taliban is fit to govern. Their ineptness at maintaining a safe environment resulted in the tragic death of 13 heroic U.S. servicemembers at the hands of suicide bombers. President Biden believes that the very same Taliban who allowed al Qaeda to flourish in Afghanistan will act in the best interest of the Afghan people, and have aligned interests and values with that of the United States and other western countries. This is an insult to the thousands of American servicemembers, and their families, who gave their lives in the fight against terrorism to protect our homeland.

We cannot and should not engage in any efforts that would seek to legitimize the Taliban on the international stage. By hastily withdrawing from Afghanistan, President Biden has thrown away the best means to hold the Taliban in check and prevent the proliferation of other more dangerous terrorist organizations.

President Biden and key members of his administration, like Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Defense Austin, have failed this test of leadership and they should resign. Their failures will be felt for years to come if the Taliban and other terrorist organizations continue to metastasize in the region.

The president continues to insist that there was simply no other way to conduct this evacuation. Now that the withdraw is complete the president’s words simply ring hollow.

Two weeks ago, President Biden said “if there's American citizens left, we're gonna stay to get them all out.” Can you imagine being one of the individuals  abandoned by our Commander-in-Chief? For some Americans, watching the last plane depart Kabul left them with a sinking feeling that their loved ones, neighbors, friends, or family members are now fending for themselves under Taliban rule as they seek safety. I fear that President Biden’s reckless decisions will have grave consequences. Every effort must be made to ensure their safe return.

I pray for comfort for the families and loved ones of the heroes that lost their lives as they selflessly served our nation. To honor and remember their sacrifice, I joined nearly 160 of my colleagues in cosponsoring legislation to award each of the 13 servicemen and women who lost their lives last week with the Congressional Gold Medal. This medal is awarded to individuals as the highest expression of national appreciation, and I can think of no others more deserving than the 13 servicemembers who gave their lives aiding in the evacuation of their fellow Americans and Afghan allies.

America is grateful for all who serve in the armed forces,” said Rep. Smucker.

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