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Katko on the One-Year Anniversary of Biden’s Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal

August 15, 2022

Katko on the One-Year Anniversary of Biden’s Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan and the fall of the country into Taliban hands as a result of President Biden’s botched withdrawal.

“Today marks one year since the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, and ultimately the fall of the country back into terrorist hands, directly resulting from President Biden’s thoughtless, botched withdrawal. The Biden administration’s dishonest and deficient response to the ensuing chaos will be remembered as one of the most disgraceful moments in our history. After this Administration falsely assured Americans that al Qaeda was no longer present in Afghanistan, we now know the top leader of al Qaeda was living in plain sight in downtown Kabul as recently as several weeks ago. After President Biden repeatedly addressed the nation and promised that all Americans were evacuated from Afghanistan before the last servicemember boarded a flight, recent reporting has confirmed over 800 U.S. citizens have been evacuated since last August, indicating that hundreds more Americans were left behind than previously disclosed.

“The Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan and returned it to a pre-9/11 terrorist breeding ground. This is not simply a foreign policy issue with regional implications. Rather, this preventable humanitarian and security crisis will pose real threats to American homeland security. President Biden’s botched foreign policy agenda coupled with his open border policies have created a perfect storm that has already put impending threats at the doorstep of our homeland.

“The memory of those 13 U.S. servicemembers who tragically lost their lives in the terrorist attack outside Hamid Karzai International Airport sticks with me every day. And the images of the chaos and distress on the faces of thousands of Afghan women and children in the days ahead of the final withdrawal still play in my head. Reckless policies have dire consequences. One year later, there are still far too many questions left unanswered.

“While President Biden would rather cast blame than take responsibility, Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee will continue to demand accountability in response to this catastrophe. We stand ready to push back on this Administration’s disastrous policies and ensure the stability of our homeland and the safety of Americans at home or abroad.”