10.05.21

Daines at Afghanistan Hearing: Biden’s Disastrous Withdrawal Has Left U.S. Vulnerable to Terrorist Attacks

Daines blasts Admin for lack of information, answers on vetting process for Afghan evacuees

U.S. SENATE — Today at a U.S. Senate Committee hearing, Senator Steve Daines slammed President Biden’s failed withdrawal from Afghanistan that led to the deaths of 13 U.S. troops, left Americans and our allies behind enemy lines, and has left the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Daines stressed that Biden’s actions have made the U.S. less safe and allowed Afghanistan to once again become a safe haven for groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

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Watch and download the remarks HERE.

“In fact, according to General Milley, he is not confident that the U.S. could deny Al-Qaeda or ISIS the ability to use Afghanistan as a launchpad for terrorism both in the region and around the world,” Daines said. “The reckless withdrawal from Afghanistan was completely bungled and mismanaged, and its harm to our national security will been seen and felt far beyond those tragic weeks in August. It will hurt our security for the months and years ahead.”

At the hearing Daines also hammered the Administration over its failure to provide information or answer simple questions about Afghan evacuees in the U.S.

“Just last Friday my staff visited Camp Upshur in Quantico to see first-hand the situation on the ground and left with more questions than answers. DHS and State Department officials at this location were unable or unwilling to answer simple questions about demographics, vetting, or prioritization of those who are brought to the US from the lily pad sites. The Administration’s refusal to answer these questions has created tremendous unease among many Americans, and it is unacceptable,” Daines said. 

To watch Daines’ full opening remarks, click HERE.

Background:

On Monday, Daines joined 15 of his colleagues in a  letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, calling the Biden Administration’s current vetting procedures unclear and incomplete, putting the safety of Americans at risk. 

Last week, Daines introduced a resolution that would establish a bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan to conduct a full investigation into President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal out of Afghanistan.

On September 20, Daines pressed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for clear details on the vetting process used for evacuees out of Afghanistan before they enter the United States to ensure the U.S. is not granting entry to dangerous individuals or child traffickers. 

On September 2, Daines called for answers from the Biden administration about the Americans and Afghan allies left behind and about the vetting process for individuals who are being brought to the United States. 

On August 20, Daines demanded accountability and action from President Biden over the reckless loss of more than $80 billion in military equipment and weaponry in Afghanistan.

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Contact: Katherine McKeoghKatie Schoettler