Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, said Sunday that the Biden administration should be held responsible for the disastrous events that have unfolded in Afghanistan.
“Just weeks ago, President Biden promised the American people that we would not have another Saigon moment – that there would be ‘no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof’ of a U.S. embassy,” Rogers said in a statement. “President Biden promised the American people that ‘the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.’ Now the Taliban are in Kabul and images of helicopters lifting off from the U.S. embassy are plastered on televisions across the globe.”
“My heart breaks for the women and children of Afghanistan whose bright futures will be extinguished by brutish terrorists who keep control by repulsive and stomach-churning means,” Rogers said. “The Biden-Harris administration needs to be held accountable for the utter failure that has unfolded in Afghanistan. Mr. President: Why wasn’t there a plan?”
On Thursday, Rogers demanded that the Biden administration present a plan to avoid a humanitarian nightmare in Afghanistan. Then the Taliban retook much of the country as the United States withdrew its forces.
“Naively and without a plan, President Biden announced that he would withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11th, the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil,” Rogers said Thursday. “Because of President Biden’s failure to plan, more troops are heading back into Afghanistan, our embassy is being evacuated, and the Taliban are rapidly advancing across the country.”
The United States and our NATO allies are withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan, by Sept. 11, the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda under the protection of the Taliban-led government. While the U.S. withdraws our forces, the Taliban has launched a massive nationwide offensive to retake the country from the embattled Afghan government. Already the Taliban has taken 11 of Afghanistan’s provincial capitals and Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, fell to the Muslim extremists on Friday morning. Kabul is already facing siege.
Congress has been increasingly disturbed by the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. Rogers is the lead Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. The whole situation blew up over the weekend.
Rogers pressed the Biden administration to present a plan.
“When President Biden and Vice President Harris took office they declared ‘America is back’ but all we’re seeing from the Biden-Harris administration is that America has turned its back on the women and children in Afghanistan,” Rogers said.
Congress has already passed funding to resettle Afghans who worked with the U.S. armed forces as interpreters. With the fall of Kandahar, it now looks doubtful that all of those interpreters are going to be able to get out. The Taliban has been executing persons known to have worked with the American armed forces.
The fall of Kandahar and the fall of the provincial capital of Helmand meant that the Taliban has full control of southern and western Afghanistan, allowing them to pool its forces for a final march on Kabul over the weekend that was unopposed.
The Biden administration has already launched the drawdown of our embassy in Kabul and has rushed American Marines in to evacuate most of the staff as it cuts the diplomatic presence to an essential core. Other Western embassies are readying similar plans. The Taliban entered the Afghan capital on Sunday.
Commercial flights out of Kabul were booked solid in anticipation of the Taliban takeover. Tens of thousands of terrified Afghans have fled the Taliban’s advances in the provinces and are homeless in the Capital.
Kandahar is where Taliban founder Mullah Omar donned the cloak of Prophet Muhammad and proclaimed himself the commander of the faithful in 1996.
On Friday, the Taliban entered Pul-e-Alam, the capital of Logar province just south of Kabul, and seized the capitals of Ghor in the center and of Uruzgan in the south. Across the country, the Afghan defense forces are deserting in mass or are surrendering without a fight. Sunday, the Marines were airlifting State Department workers and American civilians in helicopters off of the roof of the embassy. All of this is reminiscent of the fall of Saigon in 1975 except that the South Vietnamese put up more of a fight than the Afghan National Government has.
On Sunday, the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The Taliban paid the remaining security forces, most of whom have not been paid since the U.S. agreed to leave the country in February, to lay down their weapons. The Taliban seized the Presidential Palace in Kabul. The Taliban has also seized Bagram Air Base and freed the prisoners that the U.S. had held there.
“It is gut-wrenching to watch what has happened in Afghanistan over the past few days,” Rogers said Sunday. “What we are witnessing today is a catastrophic and historic failure of leadership by the Biden-Harris administration. The administration has been warned for months what would happen but President Biden and Vice President Harris ignored experts and a plan was never crafted to avoid the very situation that is currently unfolding.”
The War in Afghanistan is the longest war that the United States has ever fought.
Rogers is in his 10th term representing Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District.