August 30, 2021

Ranking Member Risch on U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after the last U.S. military plane left Kabul, Afghanistan:

“To the men and women in uniform who risked so much over the last 20 years, there are no words that appropriately recognize your steadfast determination and the sacrifices you have made to keep Americans safe. Our military kept the faith, and we owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. Vicki and I pray for the many heroes who lost their lives in service of our nation.

“Today’s final flight out of Afghanistan marks a tragic end to a 20-year conflict. President Biden and his team’s disastrous withdrawal over the last several weeks has failed to guarantee America’s safety, and worse, left countless Americans, close Afghan partners, and other allies to an unknown and dangerous fate. We cannot, and should not, trust the Taliban to keep any of them safe, so I expect the administration to work closely with Congress in the coming days and weeks to ensure we bring every American and partner to safety.

“This rushed and chaotic withdrawal did not have to happen. Terrorism is as real today as it was on September 11th, and as we confront a new reality in which it again rules Afghanistan, the dangers to America will only grow. We must have an effective U.S. counterterrorism capability that will prevent terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS from planning new attacks against the United States and our partners.”