Ohio lawmakers comment on Afghanistan as Taliban seizes power

Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio lawmakers are commenting on the situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban seizes control of the country.

Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) released the following statement:

Ever since Biden hastily left Afghanistan in the middle of the night, I have been calling this situation more of a surrender than a withdrawal. The Biden administration left a weakened Afghan national military by ripping the US and NATO forces from the integrated chain of command.

The big difference between what the Trump administration was going to do and the Biden administration is that the Trump administration was negotiating with the Taliban, and the US would have been the enforcer of any agreement. Biden has left with zero contingency plans. There is no peace, even in the areas in which the Taliban had controlled previously.

Now as Afghanistan is falling to the Taliban, we’re not going to have a place from which to operate, either in counterterrorism against ISIS or Al Qaeda or in support of the Afghan national military. This is truly a travesty. This will be a humanitarian crisis and it will result in a refugee crisis.

Rep. Mike Turner

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said the following Monday:

I am extremely concerned about the safety and security of Americans on the ground, as well as Afghans who helped our country over the past two decades. We must do everything in our power to evacuate them to safety and provide refuge from the unfolding humanitarian crisis.

Sen. Sherrod Brown

U.S. Senator Rob Portman also commented on the situation saying, “fall of Afghanistan was preventable.”

In 2001, after Al Qaeda launched a series of unprecedented deadly attacks on the United States, our armed forces entered Afghanistan to fight Al Qaeda terrorists who were being harbored by the Taliban. Over the past 20 years, both Republican and Democrat administrations realized the value of a stable Afghanistan and committed to support the goal of the Afghan people to live free of oppression and tyranny, as well as protect the homeland and our allies from the threat of international terrorism.

As I have made clear on numerous occasions, I did not agree with President Biden’s decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan because I believe that any withdrawal should have been based on the conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timeline.

It is wrong for the Biden administration to suggest that the events we are witnessing today are an inevitable outcome. It is obvious there was no systematic plan for withdrawal. We provided 2,500 troops to serve in a train and assist mission, and when paired with forces from our NATO allies, provided a stabilizing force to the Afghan National Army.  

We are now closing the U.S. Embassy and deploying combat troops to secure the airport and evacuate our embassy and allied personnel, as well as those brave Afghans who served with us and possess Special Immigrant Visas. I encourage the administration to do everything possible to support this evacuation mission and ensure the safety of our allies and their families.  

The fall of Afghanistan was preventable and will have lasting implications. Looking forward, the United States must re-engage with our allies and partners in the region to prepare for a coming refugee crisis as well as a renewed threat of international terrorism brought on by Al Qaeda and its affiliates. Afghanistan is now more likely to serve as a global launchpad for terrorism. I urge the president to be proactive in formulating a strategy for the fallout of this disastrous policy.

Sen. Rob Portman

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