POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah delegation split on whether the U.S. should leave Afghanistan

Aug 16, 2021, 10:57 AM
threats...
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
(AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

SALT LAKE CITY — The congressional delegation from Utah is split on US Troops leaving Afghanistan. Most of Utah’s six representatives in Washington have shared their feelings about the swift Taliban takeover of Afghanistan as US Troops have been withdrawn.

Currently, nearly all of the Utah delegation has voiced disapproval with the current state of affairs in Afghanistan. Sen. Mitt Romney and Reps. Blake Moore, John Curtis and Burgess Owens, all Republicans, have voiced their disapproval of the withdrawal and voiced their feelings that US Troops should remain in the country.

Rep. Chris Stewart, also a Republican, said the current situation in Afghanistan was “entirely avoidable and is a blatant failure of leadership – both by President Biden and the Pentagon.” However, he added he believes that the policy of removing troops from the country is the right one.

Utah delegation weighs in on Afghanistan

Here are the statements from each member of the Utah congressional delegation on Afghanistan as of Monday morning. 


Note: President Biden is expected to address the nation on the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan at 1:45 pm MDT. KSL NewsRadio will carry his remarks live.


Sen. Mitt Romney

“I understand but disagree with those who felt we should leave Afghanistan; I cannot understand why it has been done with such tragic human cost; without an effective strategy to defend our partners; and with inestimable shock to our nation’s credibility, reliability, and honor.”

 

 

Rep. Blake Moore

“I am devastated by the Taliban’s onslaught on the Afghan people. Our major concerns with @POTUS’s hasty withdrawal have come to pass,” Moore wrote on Twitter.

“W/ the lack of a residual coalition force, no strategy, & a withdrawal date that was clearly ceremonial, the Taliban has eroded decades of progress in just 4 months. Terrorist safe havens threaten the security of the Afghan people, our regional partners, & US diplomats & troops.

“The President owed it to our homeland security and trapped Afghan families who aided the U.S. government to establish a responsible exit plan, not a desperate evacuation that has left our diplomats, loyal interpreters, and other allies in mortal danger.”

 

 

Rep. Chris Stewart

“These two things are not mutually exclusive, and in fact are both true: First, withdrawing our combat troops from Afghanistan was the right policy. Second, organizing an orderly withdrawal could have been achieved by competent leadership.

“Overwhelming evidence that it’s time to withdraw is found in the fact that after 20 years of sacrificing blood and treasure toward a mission in which we no longer know what success even looks like, we built a government that collapsed in mere days.

“But the ongoing catastrophe in Afghanistan was entirely avoidable and is a blatant failure of leadership – both by President Biden and the Pentagon.

“Allowing weapons, helicopters, ammunition, and classified documents to fall into the hands of the Taliban is inexcusable. Not being able to defend our own embassy is a disgrace. Leaving the Afghans who fought beside us to fend for themselves is incomprehensible.

“As someone who served in the armed forces for fourteen years, watching our military leaders express more concern about the ‘existential threats’ of white rage and climate change than the combat mission they were responsible for feels nothing but tragic.

“Competent military leadership could have withdrawn our forces in an orderly fashion, creating benchmarks and priorities that would have prevented the current situation. Neither the President nor the Pentagon did any of that.

“As someone who served in the armed forces for fourteen years, watching our military leaders express more concern about the ‘existential threats’ of white rage and climate change than the combat mission they were responsible for feels nothing but tragic.

“It pains me to see a mistake of this magnitude, but I could not in good conscious witness this level of failure without demanding accountability. Both Sec Def Austin and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Milley should acknowledge their failure and resign.”

 

Rep. John Curtis

“Several months ago, I met with leaders in the Afghanistan Parliament about the crucial role the US has played to bring stability to the country and region through a targeted military presence. I heard firsthand their appreciation for the US military and how it has helped bring freedom and security to a historically restricted country. 

“Biden’s disastrous moves in Afghanistan have not only severe consequences for Afghanis but weaken America’s credibility as we move into an era of great power competition. It is difficult to see any result other than further instability in the region. This will only lead to greater human rights abuses and—as the Military Joint Chiefs have already stated—an increase in terrorist activity. 

“I am eager to hear any updates from the Afghanistan Parliament and urge President Biden not to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate governing state. Today I pray for the Afghan people, specifically the women and girls, and am gratefully mindful of the American soldiers who have sacrificed to keep us safe.”

 

Rep. Burgess Owens

“This is infuriating.. @POTUS has brought absolute chaos to everything his administration touches. Meanwhile he vacations,” Owens tweeted. 

 

 

Sen. Mike Lee

Senator Lee has not released a statement at the time of writing; however, he previously supported withdrawing troops and criticized the lack of planning and strategy in the war in Afghanistan.

 

Contributing: Heather Kelly, KSL NewsRadio

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, talks about SB117, which he is sponsoring, during a Senate Judicia...
Devin Oldroyd

Two Republicans voted against bill banning transgender-related surgery, here’s why

The Utah Senate has approved a bill banning transgender-related surgery and puberty blockers for minors. A total of two Republicans voted against it.
23 hours ago
A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates t...
Devin Oldroyd

New Utah law could extend in-state tuition to refugees & asylum seekers

A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates to refugees and political asylum seekers.
23 hours ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
23 hours ago
With 24 other states on board, the Utah Attorney General announced on Friday a lawsuit against a De...
Simone Seikaly

Utah leading a lawsuit against new ESG rule affecting 401(k) plans

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said the states in the lawsuit are concerned about the federal government's promotion of ESG investing.
23 hours ago
Rep. George Santos leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference at the Capitol Hill Club on ...
Gregory Krieg, CNN

George Santos’ ex says congressman will never resign because ‘his ego is too big’

(CNN) — The former boyfriend of New York Rep. George Santos says the Long Island Republican facing growing calls to resign for extensively lying about his past will never do so, even as he faces multiple investigations, including into his finances. “His ego is too big. He’s not gonna resign. If they don’t find out something to get […]
23 hours ago
Adam Small

Utah State Bar opposes resolution aimed at state trigger law

SALT LAKE CITY– The Utah State Bar Association announced that it stands opposed to HJR2, a resolution that could end a judge’s hold on the state abortion ban. In a memo obtained by KSL Newsradio, it states, “The Bar opposes HJR2 because of its effect on both access to justice and the administration of the […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Utah delegation split on whether the U.S. should leave Afghanistan