Congresswoman Barbara Lee, California, Oakland

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Statement On Completion Of U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) released the following statement Monday on the completion of U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan:

“Today’s final withdrawal is a sobering moment. As we reflect on the ultimate sacrifices made by our troops over the years, and most recently lost in the tragedy in Kabul, we owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to our courageous armed service members. They made the ultimate sacrifice and did everything that was asked of them over the last two decades.

“Today marked the end of America’s longest war—twenty years of lost lives and failed nation building. President Biden made the correct decision to leave Afghanistan, saving another generation from the tremendous loss felt over the last two decades. There has never, and will never, be a military solution in Afghanistan. If anything, the events of the last few weeks clearly affirm that.

“As Secretary Blinken assured earlier, this opens a new chapter in which we will lead the continued coordination with international partners to ensure safe passagefor any Americans, Afghan partners, and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan—fulfilling our moral obligation to the Afghan people. As Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, I remain committed to providing the State Department with the resources they need to achieve this goal. 

“Twenty years ago, it was clear that rushing into war without a  clearly defined mission and exit strategy would risk perpetual war. The Special Inspector General of Afghanistan Reconstruction clearly illustrated in recent reports that ‘U.S. officials rarely had even a mediocre understanding of the Afghan environment, much less how it was responding to U.S. interventions,’ and that this ignorance often came from a ‘willful disregard for information that may have been available.’ In a world where the threat of terrorism cannot be ignored, hopefully we will learn the lessons from the past two decades and not repeat our mistakes. It is time for a new approach to our foreign policy and national security—one that utilizes all the tools at our disposal. While military solutions are always available, we should also be willing to invest in diplomacy, development, and the needs of the people.”

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