August 26, 2021
Washington, DC - Congressman Daniel Webster, FL-11, today released the following statement on the attacks in Kabul and the situation in Afghanistan.
"I weep for the heartbreak so many are experiencing and the loss of loved ones while trying to evacuate the country, today's attack, or in the crowds of chaos outside the Kabul Airport. Please join me in praying for their families and loved ones and for all our men and women in uniform. May God bless and protect them.
"My office has been and is working around the clock to assist those who need to evacuate Afghanistan, including American citizens; U.S. green card holders or permanent residents and Afghan partners who stood side-by-side with our troops fighting ISIS, Al Qaida, and the Taliban and whose lives are now in danger because of it.
"The tragic reality is our withdrawal from Afghanistan was ordered by President Biden without sufficient warning to our allies, Americans living in-country, or a plan for safe passage for the tens of thousands that would need to evacuate. All reports on the ground were that we could not get every American and ally out by August 31. For days, I and many of my Democrat and Republican colleagues have called on President Biden to not stick with this arbitrary date.
"I supported H.R. 5704 by Rep. Mike Gallagher, which would have ensured Congress is provided information about evacuations and prohibits further troop withdrawal until that mission is complete. Unfortunately, our attempt to bring it up for a vote on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, was blocked by a procedural move.
"There are still many unanswered questions regarding the lack of proper planning and contingencies for this withdrawal that would have ensured safe passage for Americans and allies that needed to evacuate Afghanistan. Clear answers from this administration are required, including a precise accounting of all the military assets and equipment we left behind that is now in the hands of the Taliban. I am committed to working with my colleagues to get these answers.
"Additionally, this situation is not a failure of our dedicated men and women in uniform, but a failure of our top policymakers. Please join me in expressing gratitude to our active-duty troops and veterans who have served in Afghanistan, their loved ones and our gold star families. Take time to check in with your fellow warriors and family members who served. We owe them a debt we can never repay. America is safer because of their work, service, and sacrifice over the last twenty years."