New Jersey Democrats in Congress broadly gave their support to President Joe Biden’s plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
President Biden announced that he would withdraw U.S. troops from the country by Sept. 11, 2021. Troops first entered Afghanistan in October 2001 following the 9-11 attacks.
“We delivered justice to bin Laden a decade ago, and we’ve stayed in Afghanistan for a decade since. Since then, our reasons for remaining in Afghanistan are becoming increasingly unclear, even as the terrorist threat that we went to fight evolved,” the President said on April 14.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11) said pulling out combat troops out is the right decision.
“I think it is now time for us to move into the next phase, which is diplomacy,” said Sherrill in an interview with North-JerseyNews.com. “I think we have achieved what we could achieve militarily.”
The Navy veteran noted the overlap for families that have parents and children that have served over the past two decades.
“I met a gentleman who had fought in Afghanistan and now his son is fighting,” explained Sherrill. “What you are hearing is a generation war and to military veterans and their families, that is not just a cliche—it is a reality. I think that we need to start moving out of Afghanistan. This was the right choice.”
Menendez Shares Concerns
Sen. Bob Menendez, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, appreciated Biden and his administration’s openness in sharing its plans.
However, he expressed some concerns.
“I share the President’s desire to get our troops out of Afghanistan, but I continue to have concerns about our ability to protect the hard fought gains made for the rights of Afghan women and minorities, as well as our confidence level that Afghanistan will not again become a haven for terrorists,” stated Menendez. “How we withdraw and what political arrangement is left in our wake is critically important.”
The Senator noted the implications of the decision had to be weighed, and that he would host a full committee hearing to determine the full impact on U.S. national security interests.
Sherrill echoed those sentiments, adding “We must ensure that we leave Afghanistan in a way that protects the interests and safety of our troops currently deployed, the United States, our allies around the world, the Afghan government, and the people of Afghanistan.”
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-8) expressed his concerns what the U.S. withdrawal will leave behind.
“President Biden inherited a difficult dilemma in Afghanistan, and I appreciate the profound burden our president bears when deciding whether and how to deploy our men and women in uniform,” he said. “Nevertheless, just as I opposed President Trump’s attempts to withdraw all our troops from Afghanistan, I disagree with President Biden’s decision to do so by September.”