Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt discusses situation in Afghanistan, withdrawal of troops

Updated: Aug. 20, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KY3) - U.S. officials are struggling to speed up the pace of evacuations in Afghanistan. The State Department does say it expects a major increase in the number to be airlifted soon.

Tensions are high outside the airport in Kabul after a video surfaced earlier this week showing families passing their children over walls and into the arms of soldiers in an effort to get them to airports.

During a visit to Columbia earlier this week, Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt was critical of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

“I’m not sure that a withdraw date would have been a good idea. I mean we’ve been in Germany for 75 years so the idea that we can’t stay somewhere in a relatively safe situation after you have entered a country and tried to make some changes is antithetical to everything we’ve always done.”

Sen. Blunt says he is pleased to hear that Saint Louis, Kansas City and Columbia would welcome refugees from Afghanistan.

Blunt also released the following statement Monday on the situation in Afghanistan:

“The catastrophe that has unfolded in Afghanistan was an unforced error. We are now faced with a devastating collapse of our intelligence gathering capabilities while terrorists regain a foothold to launch attacks against the United States and our allies. The U.S. could have maintained a limited presence that provided stability in Afghanistan and protected our national security interests. This chaotic withdrawal will, in my view, prove to be a major mistake.

“The most important thing President Biden and his administration have to do now is get the Afghan people who stood by our side to safety. They risked their lives for our country and we cannot abandon them. Failing to provide for their safety will be something our country regrets for a long time.

“I am grateful to all of the U.S. military, intelligence, and diplomatic personnel who have served in Afghanistan. We will always honor the sacrifices that they and their families have made.”

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