Rep. Calvert Statement on the Situation in Afghanistan

August 15, 2021
Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42), the Ranking Republican on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement regarding the situation in Afghanistan:

"What’s unfolding in Afghanistan is an unmitigated disaster. For months now, members of Congress from both parties, myself included, have been asking the Biden Administration for an explanation on how it planned to safely remove U.S. military and diplomatic personnel. We’ve also asked how the Biden Administration planned to uphold our commitments to the translators and other Afghans who stood by our side for the past two decades. We asked these questions because regardless of whether or not you believe U.S. troops should remain in Afghanistan it was clear to anyone paying attention that their removal would result in the collapse of the Afghan government. The fact that President Biden and the highest ranking national security officials in his administration missed the clear and obvious signs pointing to this outcome should worry all Americans. Our military, diplomatic personnel, as well as our Afghan and international allies have been placed in grave danger because of President Biden’s rush to achieve a political goal without an adequate security plan in place to achieve it safely. Just weeks ago, President Biden dismissed those of us who warned about the dangers of a poorly executed troop withdrawal and expressed confidence that we wouldn’t see another Saigon-style evacuation from Afghanistan. As the world witnesses helicopters ferry Americans from our embassy in Kabul and the tragedy unfold in Afghanistan today, they are also seeing an American president who got it all wrong - again.

At this troubling hour, I pray for the safety of all Americans involved in the evacuation and the people of Afghanistan. I remain committed to all Afghans that worked with us over the last two decades and urge the Biden Administration to do the same. I’m deeply saddened by the loss of freedoms and human rights that are inevitably on the horizon, especially for women. As the biggest champion of liberty in the world, we must seek out non-military paths to support those striving to enjoy the inalienable rights all people deserve.  

As the Ranking Republican on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee I will be seeking answers in the days ahead as to how the Biden Administration made the decision to leave Bagram Air Base before evacuating U.S. personnel and what senior officials knew about the ability of the Taliban to so quickly take over the country, despite their public assurances otherwise."