Local lawmakers react to Afghanistan conflict as Taliban enters Kabul

World

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) —  Elected officials across the aisle have sounded off as the Taliban begins to regain control across Afghanistan.

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This turmoil in the country comes in the middle of the full U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Taliban has now claimed most of Afghanistan and looks to form an “open, inclusive Islamic government.”

Nearly 6,000 US soldiers have been deployed to the area, including 5,000 from Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division. In a joint statement from the Department of State and Department of Defense, officials said that they “are completing a series of steps to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable the safe departure of U.S. and allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military flights.”

Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, a member of the senate armed services committee, released a statement which says in part:

“While President Biden promised the world that ‘America is back,’ he has fecklessly turned his back on our friends and allies. I pray for the safety of the many Afghans who courageously advanced the cause of freedom and assisted America over the years and now find themselves in the Taliban’s crosshairs. I hope many of our friends can soon find refuge in America. This is also an especially trying moment for the brave Americans who served in Afghanistan, as well as their families. I’ve heard from a number of them over the last several days. Many are angry. Others are despondent. They are grieving for the bleak future awaiting the Afghans who served alongside them.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC)

Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-5), a member of the house armed services committee, also sent a statement to 10 On Your Side Friday about the situation in Afghanistan.

She released an updated statement via her Twitter Sunday night.

Republican Rep. Rob Wittman (VA-1) also released a statement that reads in part:

“The collapse of Afghanistan’s government marks one of the greatest foreign policy failures in recent American history. In April, top military leaders advocated for a small force of special operators and advisors to remain on the ground to prevent a Taliban takeover. President Biden ignored them. As a result, he proceeded hastily, without an apparent plan, and has needlessly forfeited two decades of American sacrifice abroad.”

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA 1)

Republican Rep. Greg Murphy (NC-3) issued a statement which says in part:

“It is far past time to bring our troops home from the war in Afghanistan. However, the Biden Administration’s haphazard withdrawal this week demonstrates a catastrophic failure that will have consequences for years to come. There was a planned strategic withdrawal, but Biden chose a quick ‘dash for the door’ and that has led to chaos and unchallenged horror and destruction.” 

Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC 3)

10 On Your Side will continue to monitor any remarks from local officials and will update this post.

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