WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBN) – Valley Congressman Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, issued a statement Thursday in response to the attack in Afghanistan where U.S. military were killed and others wounded.
The attacks at the Kabul airport that have left 4 U.S. Marines and an unknown number of innocent people dead and wounded is tragic. We pray for our deceased warriors and their families, as well as the wounded and American civilians still in harm’s way. We also pray from our troops on the ground risking their lives to evacuate them.Congressman Bill Johnson, R-Marietta
Johnson, who is an Air Force veteran himself, told reporters he’s afraid this is just the beginning.
“Now the terrorists are on offense because they see America running with our tail tucked between our legs and unable to protect our own citizens. They are emboldened. You’re going to see bigger problems — the worst is yet to come,” Johnson said.
The congressman is encouraging the Administration to go after those who are responsible for Thursday’s attacks and, in his words, “kill” them.
“I don’t understand this. Heads need to roll. People need to be fired. There’s incompetence from the top to the bottom of this Administration. I’m mad as hell. I’m sure Americans are, I’m getting a lot of phone calls,” Johnson said.
Johnson was also on Fox Business Wednesday blasting President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and called it one of the most “outrageous” failures in U.S. military history.
Johnson is a U.S. Air Force veteran and director of the Chief Information Officer Staff at U.S. Special Operations Command. He worked directly with senior congressional and Secretary of Defense representatives, as well as top leaders in the U.S. intelligence community, to ensure America’s Special Operations forces were adequately equipped to carry out critical national security missions.
Johnson addressed the Aug. 30 deadline that the Taliban has given the U.S. for evacuations.
“It makes us completely out of options. We are the most powerful nation on the planet and we’re essentially capitulating to the Taliban. The Taliban issued a statement there will be consequences if we’re not out by August 31. This is a Biden Administration, President Biden set this deadline, not the Taliban,” Johnson said.
His comments come just one day before a blast was reported outside the Kabul airport on Thursday where thousands of people have gathered to try to flee the country on Western airlift since the Taliban seized power earlier this month. The Pentagon confirmed the blast where at least two people were killed and 15 others injured.
Western nations had warned of a possible attack on Kabul’s airport in the waning days of the massive evacuation efforts.
“We already know the Taliban can’t be trusted,” Johnson said on Wednesday before the suicide attack. “We should have known that going in. When you develop a strategic plan like this, you plan for the worst case, and you have contingencies for every scenario from nothing to everything. And here it appears that we have no answers to some of the most basic questions like what do we do when that deadline gets there and we’re not out yet,” Johnson said.
Congressman Tim Ryan has not issued a statement on the situation in Afghanistan since an Aug. 16 news release saying that his team is keeping an eye on the situation. Here’s the statement:
“The scenes on the ground are heartbreaking and we need to do everything in our power to get those in harm’s way to safety. I have grave concerns about intelligence estimates of the strength of the Afghan military, the execution of the withdrawal, and what it means for our national security moving forward. For the safety of our troops, our country, and the Afghan people, it is absolutely critical that we understand where things went wrong so that we can prepare for the new reality on the ground.
“Given the Taliban’s history of providing safe haven for terrorist organizations, we must be very aggressive in our counter terrorism activities while also providing safety to the Afghan citizens and resetting our policies to face the many global challenges ahead.”Congressman Tim Ryan, D-13th District