President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that his administration is planning to execute a full withdrawal of American troops in Afghanistan. The president plans on a September 11 withdrawal conclusion date, which would mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occurred in 2001.
Senate Republicans reacted to the unexpected news, overwhelmingly deeming the president’s decision shortsighted. Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said that the move is “reckless and dangerous,” and that it uses an “arbitrary date” for withdrawal.
I’ve always said any withdrawal from Afghanistan must be conditions-based. @POTUS’s decision to use an arbitrary date for withdrawal is clearly political - not to mention reckless and dangerous. My full statement ?? pic.twitter.com/2cOJGaPv1w— Sen. Jim Inhofe (@JimInhofe) April 13, 2021
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also took issue with Biden’s decision
“Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. It is a retreat in the face of an enemy that has not yet been vanquished and abdication of American leadership,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. "A reckless pullback like this would abandon our Afghan, regional, and NATO partners in a shared fight against terrorists that we have not yet won. It will also specifically abandon the women of Afghanistan, whose individual freedoms and human rights will be imperiled."
Senator Lindsey Graham also blasted the decision, which he called a “disaster in the making.”
If reports are accurate that President Biden is withdrawing all forces from Afghanistan by September of this year, it is a disaster in the making.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 13, 2021
A full withdrawal from #Afghanistan is so irresponsible, it makes the Biden Administration policies at the border look sound. pic.twitter.com/TjtGV7dCTY
The Biden administration’s expected withdrawal date is four months after the Trump administration’s May 1 deadline that was negotiated, which also drew criticism from GOP lawmakers at the time.