South Dakota legislators issue statements on Afghanistan crisis
WASHINGTON — At least seven are dead following chaos at Kabul’s airport, after Taliban forces pushed into Afghanistan’s capital following the announcement that the U.S. military will withdraw after two decades.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled Sunday as Taliban fighters entered Kabul.
U.S. and other military allies, like Germany, are still on the ground at Hamed Karzai International Airport, where evacuations are underway. An additional 1,000 troops were sent as reinforcements. U.S. Central Command head General Frank McKenzie met with Taliban officials in Qatar to urge non-interference with the evacuation.
South Dakota Senator John Thune issued a statement on social media, thanking the troops that fought in Afghanistan and lamenting President Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops by August 31.
Senator Thune’s post reads:
“What’s happening in Afghanistan is a catastrophic failure by President Biden and a direct result of decisions based on artificial timelines instead of security conditions on the ground. We shouldn’t have abruptly abandoned the Afghan people, leaving them in the hands of the Taliban. Thank you to the men and women who served tirelessly to bring bin Laden to justice and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorism against the U.S. You answered your country’s call. You made a difference. The sacrifice of so many is not defined by what we’re seeing today.”
Representative Dusty Johnson wrote in a statement Monday:
“Over the last six months, I’ve received briefings from the administration indicating they were planning for every possible contingency. It’s clear that wasn’t the case. The administration’s lack of preparation is endangering the lives of Americans in uniform and our partners in the region. This is a tragedy that should have been avoided.”
NewsCenter1 has reached out to Sen. Rounds’ office for comment and has not heard back as of writing.