Apr 13 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on reports that the Biden Administration will withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September of this year.
“If reports are accurate that President Biden is withdrawing all forces from Afghanistan by September of this year, it is a disaster in the making. A full withdrawal from Afghanistan is so irresponsible, it makes the Biden Administration policies at the border look sound.
“A full withdrawal from Afghanistan is dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous. President Biden will have, in essence, canceled an insurance policy against another 9/11.
“A residual counterterrorism force would be an insurance policy against the rise of radical Islam in Afghanistan that could pave the way for another attack against our homeland or our allies.
“The intelligence assessment of a complete withdrawal is very dire. I hope our military advised against this withdrawal because I know what is most likely to happen: a reigniting of the Afghan Civil War and reversing all gains for Afghan women and children. The void created by this fight benefits ISIS and al Qaeda, who still reside in Afghanistan.
“The American military footprint in Afghanistan today is 2,500 troops. Those brave American men and women are an insurance policy against another 9/11. I think it is insane to withdraw at this time given the conditions that exist on the ground in Afghanistan. I know people are frustrated, but wars don't end because you're frustrated. Wars end when the threat is eliminated.
“President Trump kept a residual force, but he did set a hard withdrawal date, which I thought was very bad, ill-conceived policy.
“Now we have, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the complete withdrawal in spite of all the intelligence assessments. I find it ironic that, given the sacrifices we've made to move Afghanistan forward, prevent another 9/11, and ensure the enduring defeat of al Qaeda and ISIS, that on the 20th anniversary of the attack we're paving the way for another attack.
“All of America’s allies were willing to stay if we were willing to stay. To announce a full withdrawal sends a signal of incredible weakness to adversaries like al Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah, China, Russia, and Iran.”