Rep. Calvert: Those we left in Afghanistan are behind enemy lines

August 30, 2021
Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement in response to the complete withdrawal of all U.S. troops in Afghanistan:

“As our operations in Afghanistan come to an end, the Biden Administration has confirmed they were unable to evacuate all of the people we wanted to get out of the country. They’ve left hundreds of Americans behind. They’ve left thousands of our partners, many of whom fought beside our military, behind. Meanwhile, the Defense Department has confirmed more than 2,000 ISIS-K fighters have been released by the Taliban. Make no mistake, those we left in Afghanistan are behind enemy lines.

For months, members of Congress from both parties, myself included, were 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.

For the past few weeks, my staff and I have been doing everything in our power to help U.S. citizens and others stuck in Afghanistan. We’ve seen firsthand the despair, tears, and fear on the faces of Americans with family members stuck in Afghanistan.

President Biden’s execution of our withdrawal from Afghanistan has been a deadly disaster and one of the greatest foreign policy failures in the history of our country. President Biden continues to insist that this was a binary choice: either stay in Afghanistan forever or leave in this disgraceful, chaotic way.  That is simply not true.  We owed to those who served, and died, in Afghanistan to come home in a responsible and safe way – and bring all Americans and those who helped us home. There must be consequences for those involved in the decision making process. Our troops, who performed heroically under some of the worst conditions imaginable, deserve to be commanded by competent and accountable leaders.”