Two years ago, I warned against the risk a hurried withdrawal from Afghanistan would cause. Now, the consequences of a Taliban takeover are a reality.
Even against the advice of his own military advisors, President Biden doubled down on a rushed process to meet his arbitrary exit deadline, resulting in the greatest U.S. foreign policy disaster of my lifetime.
By abandoning Americans and our allies, emboldening our adversaries, and making the world a less safe place, President Biden sent a signal of weakness to our friends and foes.
After two years, the devastating impact of Biden’s failed Afghanistan withdrawal is still felt at home and abroad. And there is only one answer: we must restore America’s leadership and standing on the world stage.
President Biden’s Afghanistan appeasement caused a domino effect around the globe.
Russia invaded Ukraine. China encroached on our own sovereign air space with their spy balloon and continues their malign spying only 90 miles from our shores. Iran has increased its efforts to build a bomb and ramped up illicit oil sales to fund its terrorist activities. North Korea has increased its intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities. And China and Russia are conducting joint naval exercises near Alaska.
Women and girls who were just starting to enjoy their freedoms are again faced with oppression and subjugation by a ruthless Taliban regime. President Biden promised to hold the Taliban accountable to uphold women’s rights. However, since the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan has become the most repressive in the world for women and girls. And make no mistake, folks, this did not have to happen.
Our future partners will struggle to trust the United States with Biden’s track record of broken promises.
I firmly believe the United States of America is the greatest country in the world, and that is due to the brave men and women who serve and sacrifice to protect the freedoms we too often take for granted. What happened two years ago in Afghanistan was a disgrace to our servicemembers, and to those countless patriots who served, like I did, in the Global War on Terrorism. We were let down by our commander-in-chief.
As the world watched the chaos, the U.S. Armed Forces – who once freed the nation from the terrorist regime – experienced the desperate abandonment of American citizens and their longtime Afghan partners. Under President Biden’s command, one of the deadliest days for U.S. forces during the 20-year conflict occurred when a terrorist attack claimed the lives of 13 of our servicemembers assisting with the evacuation.
Marine Corporal Daegan William-Tyeler Page, from my home community of Montgomery County, Iowa, was one of those killed in action on that fateful day. And while we continue to mourn his loss of life, I will always believe Cpl. Page and his brothers and sisters in arms truly represent the greatness of our nation.
These military and Gold Star families do not simply just get over this. Their voices will continue to be heard as we honor their loved ones who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, and as we seek accountability for their deaths.
What happened in Afghanistan should always serve as a stark reminder that what takes place on the other side of the world directly impacts our safety here at home. When America is strong – the world is safer. But the moment we retreat and abdicate our authority, our adversaries fill the void.
While our enemies celebrate the anniversary of our “defeat,” Americans should wake up and realize the urgent need to end Joe Biden’s posture of weakness and appeasement. For the safety and security of our homeland, and to restore faith to our military community, we need new, strong leadership at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Joni Ernst, a native of Red Oak and a combat veteran, represents Iowa in the United States Senate.