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Risch: Two Years Later, Biden Admin Continues to Deflect Blame for Hazardous Afghanistan Withdrawal

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement ahead of the second anniversary of the fall of Kabul on August 15 and the Biden Administration’s hazardous withdrawal from Afghanistan:

“It’s been two years since the United States haphazardly withdrew from Afghanistan and the Biden Administration continues to deflect blame. The after action report released last month failed to take responsibility for mistakes made, including the significant damage done to America’s reputation on the world stage.

“Since we pulled out, the rights of Afghanistan’s women, girls, and minorities have been erased, and Afghanistan is once again a dangerous sanctuary for terror. There are still Afghans who supported the United States that were left behind and are fending for themselves against the Taliban. The fallout from our withdrawal will continue to impact American interests for decades to come.

“True leadership requires accountability and learning from mistakes. In order to prevent a catastrophic event like this from happening again, the administration must acknowledge its failures and adapt. We owe it to our troops, diplomats, and security partners to do better.”


In February 2022, Risch published a report entitled “Left Behind: A Brief Assessment of the Biden Administration’s Strategic Failures during the Afghanistan Evacuation,” to give an overview of what went wrong in the planning and execution of the Biden Administration’s hazardous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In May 2023, Risch and Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) reintroduced a bill to require the U.S. State Department to release a public, unclassified version of the July 13, 2021, internal dissent channel cable that reportedly warned of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s ability to capture Kabul. 

Also in May 2023, Risch led 18 colleagues in introducing the Taliban Sanctions Act, legislation to hold the Taliban accountable with sanctions for terrorism, human rights abuses, drug trafficking, and more.