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Cole Statement on President Biden's Planned U.S. Withdrawal in Afghanistan

April 14, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, released the following statement after President Joe Biden outlined his policy concerning Afghanistan and announced his plan to withdraw all remaining American troops by September 11, 2021.

“Keeping the Taliban out of power and preventing Afghanistan from being used as a platform for attacks against America remain key U.S. objectives," said Cole. "We have been able to do so in recent years with a relatively modest commitment of U.S. forces bolstered by thousands of troops contributed by our NATO allies. Removing those forces and risking a Taliban take-over of the country is a huge mistake.

“This policy decision by the Biden Administration is bad enough, but linking it to a date our terrorist enemies still celebrate – 9/11 – hands them a propaganda victory that will reverberate throughout the Middle East. The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan under current conditions will be seen as a sign of American weakness rather than strength. It will ultimately lead to more attacks on Americans around the world.

“American involvement in Afghanistan began with a congressional authorization in 2001. If President Biden wants to end it, he should request congressional approval. Doing so would require those Members of Congress supporting this ill-advised decision to take responsibility for the disaster that is likely to follow.”