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Wittman Calls on Biden Administration to Reject, Extend Taliban Imposed Withdrawal Deadline

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) sent a letter President Biden urging the United States to continue evacuating eligible individuals from Hamid Karzai International Airport past August 31st. With just 4 days remaining until the “clock runs out,” thousands of US citizens, Afghans who aided US forces, and their families remain stranded in Afghanistan. And just yesterday, it was reported the Taliban have a list of every American in Afghanistan, willfully given to them by the Biden Administration. President Biden has not denied these reports. 

“By giving in to the demands of the Taliban, President Biden has emboldened other terrorist groups around the world,” said Wittman. “After handing a list of Americans in Afghanistan to the Taliban, President Biden has enabled attacks against US citizens in Afghanistan. Should he abandon them on August 31st or later, the Taliban now have all the information they need to hunt down, brutalize, hold hostage, or execute the remaining Americans. 

“The United States must not leave a single US citizen behind who wishes to be evacuated. President Biden must make clear to the Taliban that any attempt to obstruct or deny the United States’ evacuation efforts will be met with swift and severe retaliation. If President Biden is to protect US citizens in Afghanistan from the Taliban, then he must be willing to speak the only language they truly understand: force,” Wittman concluded.  

To read the text of the letter for yourself, please see below.

Mr. President, 

It is abundantly clear that hundreds of American citizens and thousands of Afghans that have helped the U.S., remain stranded and unable to evacuate the country. Yesterday’s terror attack at HKIA on service members along with reports that the Taliban may have lists of U.S. citizens and allies, underscores the critical need to remain in Afghanistan beyond the Taliban’s arbitrary deadline to ensure all our people are safe and able to leave. 

I find it very concerning that this Administration has insisted on sticking with the August 31 deadline to fully withdraw all troops and leave untold numbers of U.S. citizens and at risk-afghans in the hands of the Taliban. It is unacceptable to let the Taliban dictate terms to the United States of America and threaten the lives of American citizens.  Instead of cowing to the Taliban’s demands on withdrawal timelines, the number one focus must be getting every U.S. citizen safety out of Afghanistan – however long it takes. 

It would be a dereliction of duty to leave behind Americans to meet some arbitrary deadline and appease the Taliban. I implore you to reconsider your decision to hastily vacate Afghanistan and leave thousands stranded and at the mercy of the Taliban and terrorists. Please commit that the U.S. will not leave until every American citizen and our Afghan friends trapped behind enemy lines has been safely evacuated.  The mission isn’t over until every American is safely out.