Kinzinger: Execution of Afghanistan withdrawal ‘extremely disastrous’
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on Sunday said the Biden administration’s execution of evacuations from Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover “has been extremely disastrous.”
“I certainly think [President Biden is] trying, I’m not gonna say that, you know, President Biden at this moment wants to do anything but that. I think the execution has been extremely disastrous,” Kinzinger told host Brianna Keilar on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked if the president is “making good on his promise” to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from the region.
Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran who flew missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, also questioned why Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) have been processed “so slowly.”
“I also think you have to go back not just early in this administration but especially the last administration, and frankly, even President Obama’s, and say, why was this Afghan SIV issue, the Special Immigrant Visas, processed so slowly?” Kinzinger asked.
The Republican congressman then warned the Biden administration against falling through on its commitment to pull all Afghan allies from the region, contending that such a move could pose a national security risk.
“If we fail to follow through on our commitment to these Afghans, that’s going to put our serious national security at risk, if we fail to follow through with their well-being when they’re here,” Kinzinger added.
The lawmaker’s comments come as the U.S. is working to evacuate remaining American citizens and Afghan allies from Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s ramped-up military offensive has caused the security situation in the country to deteriorate rapidly, unleashing chaos in the region.
The Pentagon on Saturday said it has evacuated roughly 17,000 individuals from Afghanistan in the past week, and around 22,000 since the end of July.
Approximately 2,500 Americans have been pulled from the country since the end of July.
The department announced on Sunday that it is activating the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, which will allow six commercial airlines to provide a total of 18 aircraft to assist with the evacuation effort.