September 28, 2021
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today released the following statement after leading SASC Republicans in an hours-long hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations:
“Today’s hearing confirmed much of what I suspected: President Biden ignored the advice of his top military leaders, including his commanders on the ground – and then lied to the American people about it. He knowingly left Americans behind, but has failed to account for how many he abandoned or to have a clear plan to get them out. Worst of all, he has made our country less safe. He has decreased our ability to track and strike terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIS, and increased the likelihood of an Al-Qaeda or ISIS attack on our homeland.
“Here's what we know clearly now thanks to General Milley’s and General McKenzie’s testimony: Our military leaders agreed that we should keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda is not gone from Afghanistan, and is still very much at war with us. Leaving Afghanistan increased the terrorist threat to the homeland. Our credibility with allies, partners, and adversaries has suffered because of President Biden’s botched withdrawal. Lastly, no one seems to know how many Americans are still left in Afghanistan. Yet President Biden has misled the American public on all of this.
“One other thing I do know for sure: Our service members, starting at the top, did everything right within the circumstances they were given by their commander-in-chief. The failures belong solely to President Biden – that’s why he hasn’t been honest with the American people.
“I still have many more questions, and I think my colleagues do too. We must and we will continue this fact-finding mission. Next, I’d like to hear from General Miller and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, among many others, in an open hearing as we continue to examine the decision to leave Afghanistan; the evacuation from the country; and President Biden’s yet-to-be-seen plans for fighting terrorists in Afghanistan who are rebuilding their capabilities as we speak. President Biden can try to say the war is over, but I agree with General McKenzie, who said, ‘The war on terror is not over, and the war in Afghanistan is not over either.’”