I, along with millions across the nation, remember last August when President Biden made the executive decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan. Originally, the Biden administration announced that the United States would be completely evacuated by September 11th, 2021, but then backtracked and unilaterally decided to expedite the process—despite any potential consequences.
As a result, our armed forces were not able to transport military equipment and ammunition, leaving nearly everything in the hands of the Taliban. The Pentagon provided a report to Congress notifying that the United States left over $7 billion in military equipment. The report also revealed that the Biden administration has no intentions of retrieving or destroying the equipment. Instead, the Taliban has been gifted with aircraft, munitions, military vehicles, weapons, and communications equipment—all funded by American tax dollars.
However, the image left in Americans’ minds when they reflect on the President’s botched withdrawal isn’t members of the Taliban walking the streets with American firearms, it’s the viral photo of a plane taking off with hundreds of people clinging to the outside. Sadly, this is a perfect representation of the Biden administration’s efforts. Americans were left behind, our Afghan allies were left behind, and a country was left in the hands of a terrorist regime.
Perhaps the most tragic result of President Biden’s withdrawal was the loss of thirteen American soldiers. Our armed forces risk their lives every single day to protect our freedoms but do so with the understanding that the American government will do everything within its means to protect them. Sadly, the Biden administration was unable to keep that promise, and thirteen men and women lost their lives to a suicide bomb. I joined people across Iowa and the country to honor their sacrifice and service to our country, and I will continue to mourn their death.
I want to do everything in my power to ensure the people of Afghanistan and the American citizens who have been abandoned by the Biden administration are safe from Taliban rule. I am proud to be a cosponsor of the Afghan Adjustment Act, bipartisan legislation to expedite enhanced screening of those Afghans who were evacuated to the United States last August. Many have been living in limbo, and it is critically important that we know that each evacuee has been properly vetted.