Combat veteran and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined Martha Raddatz on ABC This Week to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. Excerpts from the interview are below. For the full interview, click here.
On getting Americans safely out of Afghanistan:
“We should be doing everything possible to get Americans safely to the airport for evacuation. We are the strongest military on the face of this planet and we should be exercising those authorities to make sure that we are flexing our military muscle—especially when it comes to evacuating Americans.”
On vetting and evacuating Afghan allies:
“We have been on the Administration for months now to be working on the vetting process—to make sure we’re working with those interpreters—to get them safely out of the country. The State Department, it has drug it’s feet, it has moved so slowly, and now we’re at a point where these Afghan interpreters—other partners—are in deep jeopardy with the Taliban because they weren’t able to get their vetting done on time. So it is important that we continue pressing on with this…we should be doing absolutely everything we can to assist those who assisted us for the past two decades in the Global War on Terror.”
On President Biden’s poor planning:
“…it is so important that we continue working with these third country nations providing them with whatever support we can in those countries, and this is where President Biden unfortunately has really—he has messed it up, I’ll just put it out there—of course with our international community with this haphazard withdrawal. If we had been working with those allies, those partner countries, this would’ve been a lot easier. He knew this day was coming, and again, was very slow to respond to the needs of not only our American citizens—by pulling those troops out before we had them safely out of Afghanistan—but he’s also again jeopardized those that were partners to us through an extended war on terror.”