Washington, DC – Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the unfolding events in Afghanistan: 

It is disheartening to see the rapid deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan. It is abundantly clear that the Taliban’s advance was ultimately inevitable, at least without a commitment to surge tens of thousands of U.S. troops for an unknown span of time. That is a commitment the American public has made clear it does not support.   

In the last two decades, we have spent almost a trillion dollars and committed our armed forces on a mission that far exceeded its original scope in Afghanistan. The brave sacrifices of our armed forces were successful in diminishing the threat Al-Qaeda posed to the U.S. homeland, but we cannot and should not ask for them to stay indefinitely. 

“The U.S. and our NATO partners have spent decades building the capacity of the Afghan security forces, but the responsibility to secure Afghanistan ultimately rests on the will of those security forces to fight. I am deeply grateful to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who served in Afghanistan, whether in the armed forces or as development or diplomatic professionals, over the past 20 years. It is imperative now for the United States to secure the safety of U.S. personnel, fulfill our commitment to provide for safe passage for those Afghans who’ve supported U.S. efforts, and ensure that Afghan soil is not used to carry out terrorist attacks on America or our allies.