August 31, 2020

Ranking Member Menendez Statement on Recent Attacks Against U.S. Military in Afghanistan

Calls on Trump Administration to report on whether key tenets of the U.S.-Taliban peace deal are being honored

 

NEWARK – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the recent rocket attacks targeting U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, which could constitute a direct violation of the peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban:

“The attacks over the past two months in Helmand province against U.S. troops could indicate a clear violation of the Feb 29th arrangement between the Taliban and the Trump Administration.  There will be setbacks on the road to peace in Afghanistan, but strikes against our troops cannot be tolerated.  Nor can questions regarding the Taliban’s ongoing relationship with Al Qaeda. 

“There is no question U.S.-Afghan policy should remain guided by our hope to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan. However, in order for this peace deal to be durable, President Trump must be willing to use what leverage there is left to compel the Taliban to abide by the February 29th arrangement.  This is not only about bringing our troops home. This is about reaching a sustainable peace deal so we don’t have to send them back.

“I expect the State Department to fully brief Congress on the steps it will take to ensure Taliban compliance with the agreement when the Senate comes back into session next week.  We have built a bipartisan coalition in Congress that wants to enact congressional oversight requirements for the Trump Administration’s peace deal with the Taliban. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should respond to these latest setbacks in the peace process and prioritize our Ensuring a Durable Afghanistan Peace Act of 2019 so that we can make sure Afghanistan can never again become a platform for terrorist attacks against the United States or our allies.”

###

Press Contact

Juan Pachon 202-224-4651