This week, during the House Armed Services Committee Hearing, Florida Rep. Michael Waltz (R) took issue with the Biden Administration’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan come September 11th. In questioning the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Affairs David F. Helvey, Waltz asked for more information regarding the Administration’s decision to withdraw troops while also questioning if the Administration has any plans to bring Afghanistan interpreters who have fought alongside U.S. servicemen and women out of Afghanistan.
Regarding the Administration’s decision, Waltz asked that lawmakers needed to reflect on the “measure of success” whether it’s “avoiding casualties or if it’s protecting the homeland.”
“We are going to be accountable to our constituents,” said Rep. Waltz, U.S. Army Green Beret, citing a number of shootings that have taken place on American soil that have been deemed terrorist attacks.
Moreover, the Florida lawmaker expressed that “we’re going to be accountable if we lose additional soldiers fighting our way back in if the intelligence community is correct that Al-Qaeda fully intends to resurge in the wake of a Taliban resurgence.”
In early May, Waltz shared his apprehension at the United States withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, saying that it would be a “strategic foothold we are giving up in the backyard of America’s greatest rivals.”
In the hearing, in regard to interpreters, Waltz said he understood that “we have a moral obligation… to take care of those who have stood with us” against extremism, and he understands that “we need to get those people out.”
Sharing his own time at war, Waltz explained that “one of my interpreters was executed along with members of his family simply for having documentation that he needed to get the SIV Visa.”
In his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden (D) asserted that the United States would “maintain over the horizon the capacity to suppress future threats to the homeland.”