Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, spoke at a bipartisan For Country Caucus press conference Tuesday to urge President Joe Biden to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan until all Americans and Afghan allies are safely evacuated.
“Mr. President, you are first and foremost the commander in chief. We need to put politics aside, stop whitewashing this situation, and stop whistling by the graveyard while thousands of Americans and our allies are literally in harm’s way and potentially on the verge of losing their lives,” said Garcia, joined by a group of lawmakers at the news conference.
Garcia asked Biden to revoke Aug. 31 as the cutoff date to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. He asked Biden to leave troops in the country “until absolutely necessary to get every single American, their family members, and our Afghan partners who are wishing to leave the country out of Afghanistan.”
“We are asking you to be more aggressive and extend our troop deployments beyond the perimeter of the Karzai Airfield. We need to include significant airpower overhead to include manned and unmanned aircrafts,” Garcia said to the president.
President Joe Biden issued a statement Aug. 14 about recent developments in Afghanistan, expressing his intent not to pass the war onto another administration.
“When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor — which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019 — that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. Forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. Forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500,” Biden wrote in a statement.
“Therefore, when I became president, I faced a choice — follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our Forces and our allies’ Forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict,” he continued. “I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan — two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth.”