Washington, D.C. – Following reports that Taliban forces have entered Kabul, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Lloyd Austin, urging him to keep U.S. troops in the city and ensure the safe evacuation of Afghans facing Taliban violence.
“Now that the Taliban has entered Kabul and has taken control of the government, our allies and defenders of democracy in Afghanistan are in grave danger, particularly women’s rights activists and leaders. This is not the time for the usual Washington finger pointing and pontificating; our immediate priority must be to safely evacuate the Americans, women leaders, activists and human rights defenders who are being targeted by the Taliban. Once we have secured a safe evacuation for as many of our allies as possible, Congress should conduct a full review of mistakes made in Afghanistan over the course of 20 years,” said Senator Casey.
In his letter, Senator Casey called on the Department of Defense to ensure the continued presence of U.S. security forces at Hamid Karzai International Airport to allow Afghans to safely board planes and evacuate. He asked that U.S. troops coordinate with other forces in the region to secure the airport in order to facilitate evacuation plans organized by humanitarian groups.
Today, Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12) released the following statement in response to President Biden’s address to the American people regarding the situation unfolding in Afghanistan:
“President Biden’s haphazard withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan demonstrates to the American people, our allies, and our adversaries that this decision was made hastily and without a clear plan. Even worse, up until now, the President of the United States remained silent as the Taliban reclaimed control of Afghanistan, only addressing the American people after facing mounting bipartisan pressure.
“Now is not the time for President Biden to make excuses. This administration must focus on safely evacuating remaining Americans and our allies from the country and develop a plan to triage the national security threat that this shift in power will pose to the United States at home and abroad.
“Adding on to an unmitigated disaster at the southern border, skyrocketing inflation, and rising energy prices, this strategic blunder in Afghanistan is another unfortunate consequence of the Biden administration leading from behind. President Biden is creating crises faster than he is creating solutions.”