U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)—the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, a veteran of the Global War on Terror, and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee—issued the following statement in reaction to President Joe Biden’s press conference on his Administration’s catastrophic exit and mishandling of the situation in Afghanistan:
“After days of avoiding the press and the American people, President Biden’s bad faith spin of his catastrophic exit and gross mishandling of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is insulting. The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan is shameful, a sincere tragedy, and a complete leadership failure by this president—and it was all entirely avoidable,” said Senator Joni Ernst.
“This mishandled and haphazard withdrawal executed by this president caused so much of the collapse and panic we are witnessing now and is an international embarrassment and a black-eye for our country that will put more Americans and allies in harms’ way while emboldening our adversaries. The president failed to give any specifics on how he plans to get our Afghan friends to safety or to expedite the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program—something I’ve long pushed for on a bipartisan basis.
“To so many—to my fellow servicemembers and the men and women who served in Afghanistan—it feels like our nation has squandered their tremendous sacrifices. But I want them to hear the words this president has too often failed to say: thank you—we are forever grateful for your sacrifice and that of your families.
“As we move through these tumultuous days, the United States, this administration, must be clear-eyed and straight forward with the American people about what could result from this rushed and mishandled exit: a reinvigorated Taliban in Afghanistan could lead to increased threats of terrorist attacks and endanger our national security.”