CINCINNATI, Ohio (WKBN) – U.S. Senator Rob Portman, (R- Ohio), used strong words Monday in response to the collapse of Afghanistan and the taking over of Kabul by the Taliban.
Portman, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was against President Biden’s decision to pull out of Afghanistan and the move should have been based on conditions on the ground and not an “artificial timeline.”
Taliban forces moved early Sunday into Kabul and declared they were awaiting a peaceful surrender, capping a stunning sweep of Afghanistan in just the past week, according to the Associated Press.
“We are now closing the U.S. Embassy and deploying combat troops to secure the airport and evacuate our embassy and allied personnel, as well as those brave Afghans who served with us and possess Special Immigrant Visas. I encourage the administration to do everything possible to support this evacuation mission and ensure the safety of our allies and their families,” Portman said.
Portman accused Biden of not having a systematic plan for withdrawal and said the fall of Afghanistan was preventable.
“It is wrong for the Biden administration to suggest that the events we are witnessing today are an inevitable outcome. It is obvious there was no systematic plan for withdrawal. We provided 2,500 troops to serve in a train and assist mission, and when paired with forces from our NATO allies, provided a stabilizing force to the Afghan National Army,” Portman said.
Portman said the events in Afghanistan will have “lasting implications” and the United States must “re-engage with our allies” and prepare for a coming refugee crisis and a renewed threat of international terrorism.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, issued the following statement on the crisis:
“I am extremely concerned about the safety and security of Americans on the ground, as well as Afghans who helped our country over the past two decades,” said Brown. “We must do everything in our power to evacuate them to safety and provide refuge from the unfolding humanitarian crisis.”U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown