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Biden made the right call

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

The images coming out of Afghanistan are heartbreaking, but the rapid takeover by the Taliban is not a reason to reverse course and indefinitely put more troops back into the country. On the contrary, it’s confirmation that President Biden made the tough but right decision to end this forever war.

I went to Afghanistan four times, and during each visit, I met with an impressive American general who had just recently arrived in the country. Each walked me through a presentation detailing how the previous general hadn’t made significant progress in training Afghan forces and how he would finally get it right. This cycle – of failure, correction, and continued failure – played out year after year.

The failure was not the fault of the generals or our soldiers. They were simply given a task that had a fatal design flaw. To decide to fight or die for a country, you must believe in the idea of your nation. The idea of America – democracy, liberty, economic mobility –has motivated millions to fight for our collective security. But in Afghanistan, loyalty is to family, ethnic group, tribe, and God – not country. We thought we could build a modern participatory democracy and American-style military out of whole cloth. We were wrong.

Another one or five or 10 years of U.S. troop presence would not change this reality. But former President Trump (who bragged this summer that he forced Biden’s hand on a withdrawal) and the Washington establishment are now arguing that we should have stayed. They want to ask American taxpayers to continue to spend trillions of dollars to protect a corrupt government and prop up Afghan forces.

And let’s not forget: it was the Trump administration that made a deal with the Taliban to withdraw. If President Biden had reneged on this agreement, Taliban attacks on our troops would have restarted, which would have forced the U.S. to send thousands of more service members into a conflict with no end in sight. Understandably, most of my constituents oppose this kind of endless occupation.

What my constituents do want is to prevent another attack on American soil. That’s why we went to Afghanistan in the first place – and why so many U.S. service members were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. But right now, with al-Qaida in Afghanistan almost completely destroyed, that isn’t necessary.

I’m not saying we should totally disengage. We have an obligation to help as many of our Afghan partners as possible seek safety and resettlement. And we must maintain counterterrorism capabilities to guard against any future threats from al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

President Biden did the right thing by ending the longest war in our nation’s history, and the events of the last week simply confirm the soundness of his decision.

Sen. Chris Murphy is Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism.

38 comments

Mitch Adis August 19, 2021 at 2:59 am

Maybe it was the right call BUT an absolute disaster in execution. I’m sorry, but the President should have gotten this right. I would have expected this from Trump. Looks like Biden is no better. What a disappointment. Admit it.

Paul August 19, 2021 at 6:52 am

I dont think the United States people are upset we are out of Afghanistan, I believe we are upset at the way it happened. Is it true the Taliban were left with scores upon scores of US military equipment? Why werent our employees and aides removed months ago, then our military last? Why cant anyone admit in this administration that things could have been done better. Biden said multiple times this plan was put in place by Trump, which is true, but how many other plans were immediately canceled by Biden. He cant pick and choose what to blame Trump for. This is not a leader. Whether you admit it or not, Americans are less safe with Biden in office. That is a fact. Why wont Biden answer questions from the press?

Mitch Adis August 19, 2021 at 7:11 am

For clarification Mr. Murphy, President Trump “made the tough but right decision to end this forever war”. President Biden was simply executing the decision. Sadly, Mr. Biden did such a poor job executing, the greatness of this decision and the efforts of our Military are now lost.

We, including our Allies, expected better of the Biden administration. What we got was more of the same – Arrogant and myopic behavior, which squandered our resources and credibility.

You should be ashamed of what is going on in Afghanistan like the rest of the world. Stop defending this because of political affiliation.

David McCarthy August 19, 2021 at 7:25 am

Leave it to Chris Murphy to be so slavishly devoted to party that he supports what the entire world has condemned. Will the senator be pushing for the removal of troops from Korea next? They’ve been there, in greater numbers, for over 60 years. Germany? Italy? Japan?

The fact is the soldiers on the ground had no casualties for 18 months and were keeping things together at a small cost after a horrifically large investment.

President Trump had bombed the Taliban into respecting us after President Obama had allowed them to continue existing as a force. President Biden turned chicken salad into, er, well, a humanitarian crisis of the largest proportion ever.

Seriously? August 19, 2021 at 7:26 am

Mitch,

I agree with your assessment that this, while possibly the right decision, has been a disastrous execution and that the president should have gotten it right. Nothing about this makes me happy.

However, I disagree with your contention that this means that Biden is no better than Trump because there is so much that Trump did — and continues to do — that is hurting our country. Two prime examples are his continued assertions that the election was rigged against him and that the attack on our Capitol was more of a “love fest” than anything else. That is a former president who is supportive of treasonous acts. It doesn’t get worse than that. I would have expected better of any former president, even Donald Trump.

Skip Hagerty August 19, 2021 at 7:44 am

No mention of the embarrassingly poor execution of a final withdrawal plan? A team of high school age advisors could have done a better job than the clowns in charge now. This is Chris’ feeble attempt to distract attention from the incompetent leadership we are witnessing.

Tysen Canevari August 19, 2021 at 7:46 am

Dear Mr Murphy,

You say we should not totally disengage? Should we ask the Taliban nicely to be good boys? Maybe we can send them some candy and see if they will be good boys. We didnt have a plan to get our own people out of there but you say it was the right decision. Also, can you tell me why gas has gone up $1.40 since Biden took office?

Bryan Meek August 19, 2021 at 7:52 am

This guy is such a hypocrite. In June, Biden’s state department dismantled the program which would have secured the rescue of all Americans, starting with civilians, then military, then the equipment. The result is going to be the next ISIS in Afghanistan and if it were Trump, Murphy would already be banging the gavel of impeachment. Enough already.

Scott Vetare August 19, 2021 at 8:22 am

Chris, you’re a puppet! You’re thoughts are un-American and you need to be replaced! You don’t care about the American people, only yourself and your cronies! You really need to go!

Elizabeth Broncati August 19, 2021 at 8:25 am

Biden failed miserably in the pull out from Afghanistan. Who takes military out first, leaving civilians out on their own? The Embassy was full of US personnel. Why were they stranded? It is still a nightmare! Epic Fail. #AdmitIt

DrewT August 19, 2021 at 9:13 am

This was a HUGE and UTTER DISASTER!!! Period! Biden is not fit to be President! He is more concerned hiding in his bunker, ignoring questions and being the “woke” social justice president when he does actually come out from hiding. He has destroyed this country with the help of the Democrats! But I know everyone will blame Trump. Yeah and if you still do then maybe you should really look right outside your window to how bad Biden and company have done. It’s no surprise Murphy would tow the company line. If anyone should be impeached it’s Biden/Harris. I bet your all missing a Tweet right about now. But not to worry the Taliban are on Twitter for you.

John O'Neill August 19, 2021 at 9:24 am

Anyone who think Chris Murphy knows anything about anything needs to get his or her head examined.

piberman August 19, 2021 at 9:42 am

Our involvement in Afghanistan was never about “country building”. It was focused solely on preventing mid-east radical Muslim groups becoming more established and using Afghanistan as their headquarters. That mission was largely successful. With just a few thousand US troops and air support the country had been stabilized and Al-Queda was not significantly exporting terror activities throughout the mid-east. By completely withdrawing and leaving behind a huge quantity of US military hardware/munitions we’ve made Al-Queda/Taliban the best provisioned terror group in the mid-east. One able to wreck major damage. Having largely defeated mid-east Muslim terror groups throughout the mid-east we’ve now given them a dramatic rebirth. Millions will be negatively impacted by this decision to completely withdraw from the seedbed of mid-east terrorism.

Old Well, CT August 19, 2021 at 10:19 am

Its hard to believe that this guy keeps getting elected endlessly to the position of Junior Senator. He has been completely USELESS as an advocate for the citizens of CT. Articles like this demonstrate what he actually is: a schill for the National Democrat Party apparatus and an endless self-promoter.

Red headed movie star August 19, 2021 at 10:59 am

It was planned since early in 2021 and they couldn’t execute a safe and orderly evacuation of loyal Afgans, as well as US citizens? An absolute shame on US Govt in execution. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the many pilots that are flying in a narrow corridor to land at the airport and take off with full flights. God Bless them and their passengers. Be safe and God be with you.

Kenneth Werner August 19, 2021 at 11:46 am

Whether a small contingent of U.S. and NATO forces could have kept the lid on indefinitely with minimal losses — which has been the case for the last 18 months — is being debated right now. But proper planning and preparation could have avoided the chaotic removal of our personnel and allies. At a minimum, we should have been moving our Afghan interpreters, drivers, and their families out of the country methodically over the last few months.

piberman August 19, 2021 at 12:49 pm

Who will mourn those Americans left behind and thousands and thousands of endangered Afghanis who disappear as the Taliban sweep over the country aided by their American supplied weapons ? How is this different from Saigon ? No doubt anywhere that “America won the War against mid-east terror”.

Mitch Adis August 19, 2021 at 5:28 pm

Afghanistan make Saigon look like a well crafted Victory and exit. I think the only thing that may rival the images of our withdrawal from Afghanistan are the ones from our embassy in Iran in 1979.

Biden is our modern day Carter. Get your sweaters out!

Ron August 19, 2021 at 7:11 pm

Chris Murphy please don’t try to make a hero out of Biden. He is far from one and never will be one. Execution was an abomination. In fact everything Biden has done so far falls into that category. I know you are a Democrat but you have to see that something is very wrong here. The man is a complete puppet. He can’t answer questions, he has a tough time getting his thoughts out and honestly puts this country and all of us in danger. There is no way you or Blumenthal can’t see this. Stop sticking up for a shell of a man in the most powerful position in the world. Do something about it!

Bryan Meek August 19, 2021 at 8:23 pm

@Seriously? 4 years, $100 million and 3 phony Russia collusion investigations as Hillary, Pelosi, Schumer, and team went on and on and on about the 2016 stolen election give you no leg to stand on. A phony insurrection of a few 100 fools with flagpoles that were invited into the Capitol building is not the same as 9/11 as much as some make it out to be. Trump this, Trump that, but the fact is real bloodshed is happening now, not hurt feelings from tweets.

CT-Patriot August 19, 2021 at 8:38 pm

Yeah right Chris…stop the golden calf worshipping of Biden.

Do you realize with the Taliban take-over of our hard equipment (Blackhawks, drones, jets) that all classified items onboard are now going to be discovered by the Chinese, Iranians, Russians ?

Biden had what was left of the military out at midnight, meanwhile thousands of American citizens are behind enemy lines and what did Biden say? That the Taliban is responsible for their safe passage? Really?

Who gives up a fully functional military airbase at this time?

Look Chris, like him or not, Trump made it crystal clear to the leader of the Taliban that he, his family and entire village would be destroyed if he so much puts his toe in the wrong are.

Trump bombed their tunnels with a MOAB due to threats and killed many of them.

They learned to fear him.

Biden GAVE them everything and more. Did Biden do one thing at all during the Taliban advance? NO!

Now, the Taliban is also in possession of biometric data and going door to door to find any Afghan who assisted the U.S. and will kill them!

You’re nothing but a damn fool for thinking ANYTHING Biden does is good or right.

Now, our boarder is wide open for terrorists to walk through without any issue. You know now they will come. You cannot deny it!

Instead of articles like this, why don’t you put the effort in getting every American citizen out of Afghanistan and those that assisted us…

We need a change….vote Chris OUT!

Niz August 19, 2021 at 9:27 pm

America had no biz setting up military bases in other sovereign nations!! It’s NEVER A GOOD SITUATION OR outcome.
Again, westernized ppl gotta STOP going to Islamic nations thinking they are welcome or safe. Imposing their ideas of freedom on them.
These r a ppl that unite & hold firm! Do not play in their sandbox UNWELCOMED
They will kill you!! And trying to westernize them is a life ended outcome for the women & children. And an added enemy to the US RESIDENTS , they have & will become a nefarious adversary! Stop risking our freedoms, stop killing their citizens pointlessly and our beautiful loved ones in the US Military.

Bill Dunne August 19, 2021 at 10:41 pm

Chris Murphy seems to be angling for a job in the Ministry of Truth in the Harris Administration(coming soon).

CT-Patriot August 20, 2021 at 5:35 am

This is YOUR president Chris…

Turns out even though Joe Biden’s actions had put you in peril, you were still going to be required to pay an inordinate amount to fly out of Kabul. The State Department issued an alert to citizens which included the warning that they could have to pay up to $2,000 or more for a flight and/or sign a promissory note to pay that amount. Non-citizens would have to pay even more.

US officials say the most powerful nation on earth lacks capacity to extend operations into Kabul to collect stranded citizens & people we have a duty to protect. But the UK & French governments are reportedly doing exactly that. But we can’t? We can. We are choosing not to. Why?

It’s overdue to call for Impeachment of Biden.

CT-Patriot August 20, 2021 at 5:47 am

Oh and Chris…Biden called a lid.

Biden is not fit to lead…admit it. It’s past time to call for Impeachment.

Michael McGuire August 20, 2021 at 8:49 am

Good times make weak leaders. We’ve had a long run of good times. Is it any wonder we have to suffer this foolishness, on both sides of the isle….

The real travesty is the wholesale sellout of mainstream media.

The result of our weak leaders and media sellout has resulted in 80 percent of Americans having little faith in either institution.

History always repeats itself. Bad times are coming but strong leaders will emerge. I only hope those who hold the constitution sacred can break through this stifling troika of censorship , a complicit media, and the strong push for socialism.

John C Miller Jr August 20, 2021 at 5:53 pm

This evacuation was and is an unmitigated disaster. Firstly: NEVER REMOVE YOUR AIR POWER. Bagram air base should never have been closed and should have been used as the evacuation facility; and the air power stationed there should have remained and used to hold off the Taliban until the last person as well as our equipment was safely out. Secondly: Remove all civilians (contractors and the like) first; then take the Afgan folks who assisted us (interpreters and the like) next; next to go would be the embassy personnel; then you take the equipment that the American taxpayers paid for that could be use against us at some point in the future; and, finally, the soldiers and marines and aircraft leave (with the aircraft leveling Bagram Air Base on the way out). Don’t worry folks, just like in Iraq, we’ll be back. Lastly, with regards to Mr. Murphy; my father had an old Irish saying that he frequently used which went “There are more horses arses then there are horses” which is a prefect description of our undistinguished junior Senator.

Peter Franz August 20, 2021 at 6:57 pm

Astonishing (not really) that nobody is questioning why Trump left this for Biden to clean up, even though it was a big Trump campaign promise (another one) that he failed to deliver on.

Here’s a hot tip for everyone: after you invade a country, they’re not sad to see you leave.

With 2,500 US troops on the ground, the Taliban (including the 5,000 Trump arranged to be freed before we left) were just waiting to take over. Bad intelligence and planning by Biden? Well yeah clearly. But given that Trump’s original military campaign in Yemen had more US casualties than we’ve seen in Afghanistan this week, I’d say the reaction is wildly overblown.

Nothing good was ever to come out of this Republican-led disaster. A war with no end, except endlessly dead American troops for nothing. Senator Murphy is 100% correct: a cycle of failure that was not going to change.

CT-Patriot August 20, 2021 at 10:00 pm

Peter Franz…

A little insight to Trump’s action on the Taliban…

During Trump admin, Trump struck Syria on gassing the population, then blew up Qasem Soleimani.

After that, Trump blew up the tunnels Isis was using with a MOAB.

Back to the Taliban…Trump had a frank discussion with the Taliban leader. In doing so, explained to the leader of you violate ANY rules that were discussing, Trump would bomb him with the likes no other country has seen. Trump continued and exposed just where the leader and his “troops” were, which town etc and again gave a grave threat. At this point, he asked the leader did he understand exactly what he ment by his strong threat. The leader did acknowledge and knew Trump is NOT bluffing.

Fast forward to current issues, Gen Milley has been obsessed along with other government offices on the threat of “white supremacists” and said they are a greater threat than Isis.

This level of obsession has taken the eyes and ears off Afghanistan and the Taliban along with al qaeda. They continue to grow in Afghanistan.

The Biden administration is grossly incompetent and making America a large easy target for terrorists.

With Afghanistan in total chaos, our American citizens trapped, possibly Turing into hostage or human shields and our southern boarder totally wide open….who are you going to blame?

It’s obvious Biden is mentally incompetent and suffering from dementia. Who is calling the shots?

There is a picture of Obama, Holder, Harris and what looks like Susan Rice meeting outside at a table in Martha’s vineyard.

So, who’s the REAL people calling the shots for the white house and Biden acting as the executive office?

If Congress does not start impeachment proceedings soon, we are going to have serious issues in not just America but you can bet that Xi is going to pull the trigger to invade Taiwan. Putin could rush into Ukraine and if this happens, which many think it very well could. Who will lead us and protect the US and our allies? Biden? Really?

It’s overdue.. impeach this babbling fool.

Bryan Meek August 21, 2021 at 4:09 am

There is no cure for TDS. Really, blaming him for Yemen, which was started by Obama? At least we know there aren’t 81 million people, mail in ballot or otherwise, who actually believe that Biden is capable of making his own sandwich anymore.

john Flynn August 21, 2021 at 7:53 am

Senator Chris murphy has committed treason multiple ntimes and just gave the Taliban full employment selling US Humvees, even Blackhaws were gifted to the terrorists? His talking points came from pelosi’s laptop. Murphy secretly met with Iran secretly in Germany and Murphy threatened Ukraine if Biden was investigated on behalf of trump. Murphy took bribes from Leiter, Burisma lobbyist and it is high treason. Murphy took bribes from Ukraine and claim ed to be impartial in both the impeachment attempts.

DryAsABone August 21, 2021 at 9:19 am

Does Chris even live in Corrupticut?
He and the senior senator are perfect examples of why we should have term limits, something I never believed in until I moved to this state thirty-five years ago.

Steve Mann August 22, 2021 at 11:08 am

This is a United States Senator. One of one hundred. No calling to task the person who has by many accounts made one of the most serious military blunders in history. Someone who, in the words of one Brit, should be court martialed. This so-called President has abandoned US citizens behind enemy lines. Something that goes against the credo of every military personnel. Never should this person ever again speak of the valor of his son’s military career. He’s clearly not fit to judge.

To Murphy, just more dribble to feed the political memes that his voters feed on. I was on a long drive yesterday, and listened to Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN immediately before and after the Pentagon briefing. Fox is rightly concentrating on the catastrophic events of this week. CNN was focused on………..January 6 of course and the other channel has some feel good human interest story. I tuned all three again right after the briefing, suspecting that the liberal channels would divert from Afghanistan immediately. I was not disappointed.

People should be free to believe whatever they want. Have the facts before you decide. One Facebook poster today dribbled, “this is Trump’s mess” Anyone else here believe that?

Tim August 22, 2021 at 5:44 pm

I believe it was the right decision to finally pull out of Afghanistan, but what Biden did to leave everyone behind like this is disgraceful. Biden should be impeached. He lied to the American people, and has said things on National TV that shows he’s not fit to lead our country. Just a couple of days ago he said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos that ‘Yes, he thought there would be some chaos factored into the equation of leaving Afghanistan, but the good news is nobody is being killed on the ground.’ Can you imagine such a crazy statement? Right now the Taliban are going house to house right executing everyone who supported America. They are killing women and children. Also How could this administration leave 1 trillion dollars worth of military equipment, tanks, ammunition and drones to the enemy there? How do you take out the military before evacuating the Americans and Afghan people? The Biden administration should be held accountable for this incompetence. I feel so sorry for the women and children there. If I was a foreigner I would really think twice about trusting America. In my opinion we as Americans have lost all credibilty in the world now. Senator Murphy can say it was the right decision to leave Afghanistan, but is it right to let all of these people who supported us get slaughtered? Time will tell how things play out there, but we all need to pray for peace,

Steve Mann August 23, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Mr Franz may have not read a news account for 18 months so he’s to be forgiven.

“endlessly dead American troops for nothing”
FACT: No military casualties in Afghanistan for eighteen months.

“Trump left this for Biden to clean up”
FACT: See previous comment. Clean up what?

“Bad intelligence and planning”
FACT: The only plan from Day 1 has been to wantonly reverse whatever Trump did. Political theater with horrible consequences.
FACT: He had good intel. All he had to do was heed it. Miserable failure.

“campaign promise (another one) he failed to deliver on”
FACT: Ok, you take it from here Peter. Energy independence, no new wars, lower unemployment, increased wealth, record pace of recovery, Operation Warp Speed, oh, the misery he provoked. Please let us know if I missed anything.

Was he perfect? No, but he got it done and I’d trade for it back in a heartbeat. You and others elected a president who spent the campaign period in hiding, was not vetted, and has not one major accomplishment to his name in almost a half century in elected office. And to boot, chose a VP candidate who was the first to exit the primaries, and is now almost certain to finish out this term. Honestly, they say Dems would elect a glass of water with a D next to it, and at this point, it would be a dramatic improvement.

Bryan Meek August 23, 2021 at 7:24 pm

@SteveMann, since you bring it up and it is typically taboo to do so, but the question of the President’s son’s valor is something I’ve always been curious about and why there is no recount of the acts of valor that earned him the bronze star. I know a local who earned one in Afghanistan for pulling wounded men out of crossfire in a roadside attack, risking his life to do so. What did the President’s son do as a JAG lawyer inside the Green zone that rises to that level? It’s not to disparage his record, it’s just that we simply do not even know what the record is. I find it incredible there has never been one actual recount of the acts of valor..

CT-Patriot August 30, 2021 at 10:22 pm

Murphy, you really think Biden did the right thing? Still?

Have you seen the pictures of the Taliban using OUR Blackhawk to hang a “traitor?

Those very same Taliban Biden made a pact with? Shared intelligence with? Gave an abundance of U.S. weaponry, military secrets, and classified materials?

That, Senator, is treason! Yes, treason.

Let’s not forget Biden is such a stand-up guy and Commander in Chief that as the remains of our patriot heroes who were cut down too young serving our country, Biden took his attention off them to look at his watch?

Sickening. Disrespectful, failure in Chief.

Even the Brits have called for Biden to be held in contempt!

You now must retract your comment sir.

No one will respect ANY Senator or Congressman who supports this Presidents actions or his military commanders. Period full stop!

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