Former Republican Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers said Wednesday that President Joe Biden’s expected deadline to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 conveys “a terrible message.”
“I think they were looking at some kind of symbol on Sept. 11. And by the way, I think this is a terrible message to send,” Rogers said on “CNN Newsroom.”
“Al-Qaeda, even ISIS often used that date as their own inspiration. And why we would leave on the day that they already hold in their view as a day where they really harmed America, boy, is a head-scratcher to me,” Rogers said.
Two administration officials briefed on the matter confirmed the plan to the Daily Caller, speaking on the condition of anonymity since they weren’t cleared to publicly explain the plans. The U.S. had agreed with the Taliban to leave Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, provided the Taliban keep their promise to contain terrorism.
The Taliban is believed to have recently fired rockets towards a U.S. military base and a U.S.-Afghan airfield located in the south of Afghanistan, in violation of the peace agreement, three U.S. military officials said, The New York Times reported in August.
Rogers said the military would now be focused safely departing Afghanistan instead of pursuing the Taliban.
“That is a very different strategy outlook for the next few months than making sure the Taliban isn’t victorious in spreading its message and its territory around Afghanistan. So what are we gonna do? We’re gonna send in the 101st next year after the Taliban continues to march toward the capital city of Kabul? I don’t think so. And so I really don’t think this was well thought through,” Rogers said.
“Remember, our adversaries are gonna take these things differently than we are across America and, boy, we oughta think about that,” Rogers said.
Rogers said the U.S. is “not where we want to be” in Afghanistan. Rogers compared the plan to pull out of Afghanistan to the U.S. leaving Iraq in 2011 and said he fears that what followed in Iraq after U.S. withdrawal will happen in Afghanistan.
“I think that they’re giving up a lot of ground that we have made and I think a hard pull-out is not going to cause the kind of results that we want and they haven’t really factored in the second, third order effects of just throwing up our hands and saying boy this is hard we’re leaving and by the way NATO you should leave too. I’m a little bit concerned by that tactic,” Rogers said.
“The Taliban hasn’t been very good about doing things that they say they’re gonna do now. Can you imagine now that we’ve announced we’re leaving, what happens across the country?” Rogers said.
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