Lawmakers raise concerns over troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Washington DC Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing for answers from the Biden administration on its decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Members of both parties say they’re worried about the move, but the White House is standing by the decision.

“We’re leaving behind hundreds of thousands of Afghans who trusted us for their security,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said Tuesday.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle aren’t convinced a full withdraw of troops from Afghanistan is the right move.

“There’s not a word you just said that gives me any confidence that we will leave behind a resilient government,” Connolly added.

Connolly pressed Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad on the decision during a House hearing Tuesday. Both Connolly and Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner voiced concerns that the U.S. departure will leave room for the Taliban to retake control.

“We must act wisely, consulting with our defense officials and diplomats and ensure that we are not creating a bigger mess for ourselves in the future,” Rep. Wagner of Missouri said.

Lawmakers and the Biden administration say they want to see strong oversight from Congress to ensure the region is safe, like providing funding to support the embassy and Afghan military.

Khalilzad said the U.S. will continue to monitor the region and maintain strike capability but said it is time for the endless war to end.

“Our troops deserve to come home and Afghanistan deserves a chance to find its way forward,” he said.

Rep. Greg Steube, who represents part of the Tampa Bay area, agreed.

“It’s time to bring our troops home,” Steube, R-Fla., said.

While Steube agrees with the Biden administration on the decision, he said he wanted troops home by May 1. That’s the original deadline set by former President Donald Trump.

“I am disappointed that the Biden administration is kicking the can down the road ’til September,” Steube added.

The Biden administration says troops are already coming home and are on track for a full withdrawal by Sept. 11.

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