July 08, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released a statement from Senator King following President Biden’s remarks on concluding the United States’ military involvement in Afghanistan by August 31st, 2021, where the President discussed the timetable for the weeks ahead, and presented an overview of the path to safety for Afghan nationals who aided U.S. troops as translators and guides.
“Throughout history, nations have been judged by the manner in which they conduct wars and also how they conclude them – by potential foes, prospective partners and history itself. By critically evaluating America’s nearly two decades of conflict in Afghanistan, weighing our progress there against the cost of accomplishing anything further, President Biden made the difficult decision to withdraw American troops there before the calendar officially marks two decades of a war that has felt much longer.
"The President’s remarks today demonstrated the weight of that decision, and outlined some of his reasoning for the timeline that will proceed in the next two months. While it was good to hear his further plans for offering safety and potential citizenship to the Afghans who have stood by us there – an issue I have sought to build awareness on for weeks – I will be looking to hear more from his administration on the details of the implementation of this moral and strategic imperative."
"The next steps that America takes must be considered, stable, and lead us clearly towards an outcome that reduces the threat to our national interests, our allies — especially those Afghans who have stood with us — and our place in the world.”
In recent weeks, Senator King has been highlighting the need to protect our Afghan partners, while raising awareness and pressure for needed action from the Biden Administration. In a column for the Military Times, Senator King cited that continued delays in the SIV process “could very well be a death sentence for those who put their lives on the line to help the United States”, in addition to potentially discouraging future allies from working with American military efforts. Additionally, he pressed a top Defense Department nominee for his commitment to prioritize efforts to bring America’s Afghan partners to safety, and joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues to urge President Joe Biden to streamline the SIV program for Afghan nationals who worked for or on behalf of the United States.