Hagerty Statement on the Deteriorating Situation in Afghanistan

August 15, 2021

NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today released the following statement on the situation in Afghanistan:

“While Americans support responsibly concluding endless wars, they cannot support the way that the Biden Administration’s retreat from Afghanistan has unfolded. President Biden focused on the press release, not the plan. The desire to mark the twentieth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a complete withdraw of all U.S. forces overtook the serious planning and negotiation necessary to avoid the outcome we are witnessing today. The collapse of Afghanistan, where thousands of U.S. service members made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our Nation, will pave the way for terrorists to return to power in the same place that the 9/11 attacks were masterminded. It will also cause our allies—and adversaries—to question our resolve as a nation. 

“With the Taliban taking control of Bagram Air Base—the hub of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan for two decades—and freeing prisoners, including terrorists, with the Afghan President fleeing, and with Kabul surrounded, it’s only a matter of time before the Afghan people are back under the brutal control of the Taliban as the terrorist threats to America’s homeland once again increase. As a former U.S. Ambassador responsible for the lives of all under my Chief of Mission authority, I urge this Administration to stop spinning and deflecting responsibility for President Biden’s poor decision-making and instead focus entirely on keeping Americans in Afghanistan secure until they are home safely.

“I’m angry. The American people are angry. And our brave members of the U.S. Armed Forces deserve far better. It will be incumbent upon this Administration to explain soon why it led from behind and allowed terrorists to prevail.”