April 13, 2021

Risch: Biden’s Plan to Withdraw U.S. Troops from Afghanistan Fails to Guarantee America’s Safety

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the Biden Administration’s plan to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by September 2021:

“This plan fails to guarantee America’s safety. I have long called for a responsible end to the war in Afghanistan, but for doing so in a manner that keeps Americans safe. A 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.

“Absent continued pressure against terror networks, the threat against the United States will reconstitute in relatively short order. We cannot trust the Taliban with America’s security – it has failed to meet any of its commitments in the deal reached last year to reduce U.S. troops in exchange for Taliban counterterrorism guarantees. The United States must continue to be able to detect and respond to emerging threats.

“We owe our service men and women, our diplomats, aid workers, and allies an incredible debt of gratitude. Since entering Afghanistan in 2001, we have constantly had to weigh the costs of withdrawal against the very real human costs of continued intervention. A deliberate reduction in troops, clearly tied to conditions on the ground, along with the Taliban’s compliance with a counterterrorism framework, is the only responsible way forward.”

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