GOP lawmaker ‘encouraged’ by Biden’s Afghanistan strategy
First-term GOP Rep. Peter Meijer (Mich.) said in a statement released on Tuesday that he was “heartened” and “encouraged” by the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. would be withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan.
“I am heartened to see the Biden Administration recognize the value of the withdrawal agreement negotiated under President Trump,” Meijer, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement on Twitter. “The commitment to a full withdrawal by September puts the US in a position of strength while ensuring regional actors and internal stakeholders alike share the burden of advancing peace and stability in Afghanistan.”
“For two decades we have believed in our own propaganda that victory was in sight, about us turning the corner, etc while thousands of American service members and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians died. That status quo, ‘steady as she goes’ approach will only bring more death and despair,” Meijer added.
— Rep. Peter Meijer (@RepMeijer) April 13, 2021
This is not the first time Meijer has indicated his anti-interventionist views. In March, Meijer was one of two GOP lawmakers to vote in favor of advancing a bill that would repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force in Iraq.
It was reported on Tuesday that the Biden administration plans to announce the withdrawal of all U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with the date set at Sep. 11, 2021. This will go past the prior deadline of May 1 set by the Trump administration last year in a deal signed with the Taliban. The Biden administration for weeks has signaled that it will not meet the May deadline due to logistical challenges.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have blasted the administration after news broke of the September withdrawal.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the move a “disaster in the making,” adding that it was “dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said she was “very disappointed” by the decision.
“The US. has sacrificed too much to bring stability to Afghanistan to leave [without] verifiable assurances of a secure future,” Shaheen, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said.
She added that the Biden administration must make “every effort between now and September to safeguard the progress made and support our partners in the formation of an inclusive, transitional government.”
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