Chairman Schiff Statement on Afghanistan
Washington, April 13, 2021
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:
“President Biden’s anticipated announcement that we will conclude the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan reflects the reality that our continued troop presence after 20 years of war is no longer in the United States’ best interest.
“The terrorist threat to our country is still very real, but it is no longer primarily based out of the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. And while the decision to withdraw our military forces from Afghanistan is not without risk, staying also carries a substantial danger to our service members, some of whom were not yet born when the attacks of September 11 occurred.
“As our mission changes, we must also remember the tremendous sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, as well as our intelligence professionals, who helped kill Osama bin Laden and decimated the terrorist group that attacked us on September 11. Even as we confront new challenges—from a rising China and resurgent Russia and transnational threats from climate change and pandemics —I have confidence in our capacity to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat terrorist threats to the United States and our allies, wherever they may emerge.
“The end of the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan does not mean an end to the tragic suffering that the Afghan people have experienced for far too long. After more than 40 years of fighting, it is clear that there is no military solution to their conflict, and even an indefinite U.S. military presence could not bring about stability.
“The upcoming peace conference in Istanbul offers an opportunity for Afghans to begin charting a more hopeful course for their country. We stand with the overwhelming majority of Afghans who demand an immediate ceasefire and the formation of an inclusive Afghan government that respects the human rights of all Afghans—especially women and girls.
“It is vital that the Administration make it clear that the United States will continue to take whatever steps are necessary to secure our vital national security interests and to ensure that Afghan soil is never again used as a base from which to plot or launch attacks against the United States.”