Stephen Lynch Says Biden Administration Doing The Best It Can On Afghanistan Withdrawal

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U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (D-Salem) called President Joe Biden’s administration’s Afghanistan War withdrawal a “f——- disaster”. How does his colleague Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston) feel about it?

On this issue, Lynch has a different mentality.

Moulton was critical of the Biden administration after the Taliban regained control of Kabul for the first time in 20 years shortly after the United States began a full troop withdrawal from the country. There was also an ISIS-K terrorist attack that killed 13 American troops, including a 25-year-old from Massachusetts. Plus, there are still Americans in Afghanistan who want to come home who haven’t made it back yet.

While the culmination of those things resulted in Moulton’s expressing public frustration, Lynch, the chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security of the U.S. House of Representatives, says it’s a difficult situation that no one foresaw — and he gives the Biden administration credit for its effort. 

“Well, I think under the circumstances, they’re doing the best they can,” Lynch told NewBostonPost at an event in Scituate on Tuesday this week. “I don’t think anyone expected that the Afghan national army would be rolled up as quickly as they were. I mean, I’ve been there, Afghanistan, close to 20 times over a long period of time. The assurances that we had from Ashraf Ghani was that they said they had the capabilities to withstand any Taliban attacks for up to 18 months. There were others that said closer to a year, but no one saw the rolling occurring in 11 days, so all of that had to be put together in the response.

“I’m rather amazed that they were able to move 110,000 people out in that short period of time with such pressure on the airport,” he added. “You know, Kabul airport doesn’t have a natural defensive perimeter, so that’s what the role of our sons and daughters in uniform assumed when they got there. They created basically a human cordon around the airport and prevented people from getting in to make sure those were friendly allies that got into the airport while conducting a screening process as well. So, very dangerous job under those circumstances.”

Ashraf Ghani, the now-former president of Afghanistan that Lynch mentioned, fled the country when the Taliban came for Kabul a couple of weeks back. The country’s military did not fight any major battle to try to defend the capital.

Back in April when the Biden administration announced that it would complete a full Afghanistan withdrawal by September 11, 2021, Lynch expressed concerns on the matter.

Here is what he said at the time in a statement provided to NewBostonPost:


While I certainly share the desire to disengage militarily from Afghanistan, withdrawing all U.S. troops by September still comes with significant risks to U.S. national security, Afghan self-government, and the stability of the region. 

Multiple credible witnesses, including former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford, former Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Special Inspector General John Sopko, have recently testified before our Subcommittee and warned that the complete withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan by the Trump Administration’s May 1st deadline was likely to have disastrous consequences for our national security, as well as the future stability of Afghanistan and the nascent rights of women and girls in that country.

Under current conditions, the potential Taliban overthrow of the Afghan Government remains a strong possibility.  Civil war would seem a virtual certainty.  For those reasons, I look forward to discussions with the Administration to more fully understand the strategy that will enable us to successfully adhere to this new timeline.  To that end, I have requested a briefing with Special Representative Khalilzad, and I look forward to inviting Administration representatives to testify at a hearing on this momentous decision in the coming weeks.


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