By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., had sharp criticism for President Joe Biden after his Tuesday address to the nation on the end to the war in Afghanistan.
Rogers is the Ranking Member on the House Armed Services Committee, making him one of the top Republican voices on military matters in Congress. He specifically pointed to the fact that at least hundreds of Americans were left behind after the military completed its evacuation.
“One American left behind is one too many. The fact is President Biden abandoned Americans in Afghanistan – leaving them at the mercy of the Taliban and ISIS-K. The President made a promise to the American people that he would stay until every American was out,” Rogers said in a statement.
“President Biden’s words today were hollow.”
During his remarks, Biden defended his decision to withdraw American troops by the Aug. 31 deadline. The execution of the withdrawal and the administration’s unwillingness to push it back to evacuate more Americans and Afghan refugees, has been the source of intense criticism for the last two weeks.
The chaotic withdrawal started with Afghans rushing the gates of the Kabul airport, some clinging to the wheel wells of military aircraft before falling to their deaths. Then, last week a suicide bombing outside the airport killed 13 American service members and 169 Afghans.
“I was not going to extend this forever war,” Biden declared from the White House. “And I was not going to extend a forever exit.”
“When I hear that we could’ve, should’ve continued the so-called low-grade effort in Afghanistan at low risk to our service members, at low cost, I don’t think enough people understand how much we’ve asked of the 1% of this country to put that uniform on,” Biden said.
Rogers said he had repeatedly asked the administration for the Afghanistan exit plan but said it never produced one.
“This isn’t the end of a war – the terrorists still exist and they killed 13 American service members last week,” Rogers said. “They will not stop because the President arbitrarily picked a date.”