Rep. Bera Issues Statement on President Biden’s Decision to Withdraw U.S. Troops from Afghanistan
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Ami Bera, M.D., Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, released the following statement on President Biden’s decision to withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021.
“I applaud President Biden for his decision to drawdown U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which will bring an end to the longest war in our nation’s history. After 20 years, it is time to bring our troops home.
Our country owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the brave men and women who served our country in Afghanistan, including the 2,300 Americans who have been killed and over 20,000 who have been wounded. The service and sacrifice of our servicemembers will never be forgotten.
While today’s announcement brings an end to our war in Afghanistan, we must remain vigilant against terrorism threats in Afghanistan and in the region. I am pleased that President Biden will continue working with our allies and Afghan partners to ensure we maintain a robust counterterrorism strategy in the region. Additionally, I’m glad the Administration will continue to support the peace process between the Taliban and Afghan government, while continuing to bolster support for civilian and humanitarian assistance programs to strengthen Afghan civil society. These actions are critical to supporting American security interests and values in the region.
We must also do everything in our power to aid those Afghans that have assisted U.S. forces over the past two decades, including Afghan translators, interpreters, doctors, and engineers. As a proud Representative to a district that welcomes a high number of Afghans with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) who contribute to the rich and diverse fabric of Sacramento County, I am disappointed that SIVs are going unissued, despite the high number of applications. We have a moral obligation to provide protection to those who risked their own safety to support U.S. troops, diplomats, and contractors in Afghanistan. I will continue to work closely with the Administration to make sure we meet those obligations.
I look forward to engaging with the Administration over the coming weeks to ensure our troop withdrawal is safe and orderly, the we support those Afghans who supported us, and that we are meeting our national security interests in the region.
Representative Bera chaired a March 2020 Subcommittee hearing examining U.S. policy in Afghanistan and sent a letter to President Biden on March 19, 2021 urging the Administration to timely process Special Immigrant Visa applications.