August 16, 2021

Ranking Member Risch Statement on Afghanistan

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan:

“President Biden is not the first president to move toward an exit in Afghanistan, but he is the first to do so without any clear plan to protect our interests, our citizens, and our closest friends. This rushed and political decision to withdraw without consideration of our counterterrorism priorities will allow Afghanistan to serve as a future platform for terrorist attacks against the United States and our partners. This outcome has failed to guarantee America’s safety.

“The Taliban always has and always will be a terrorist organization, and it will support al Qaeda’s reemergence. We cannot treat it or its leaders as a legitimate government.

“The worsening situation at the Kabul airport only highlights how little thought the Biden administration put into taking care of American interests. We must do more, and do better, at helping our Afghan friends who desperately need our help, after having served alongside us all of these years. The people of Afghanistan, and especially the women and children, do not deserve the return to brutal oppression that will come with Taliban rule.

“President Biden and his administration must answer for this disaster. It didn’t have to be this way.”

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