WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement: 

“I am deeply concerned about the evolving humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, including Afghans that are being targeted by the Taliban -- particularly women and girls; civil society leaders; those who assisted the United States and coalition nations; and others who dared to dream and work for progress and democracy for their country.  Right now, the focus should be on safely evacuating U.S. citizens and Afghans who aided us.

“There are no easy answers to how we got here. I would argue that several factors over the last twenty years of war in Afghanistan have shaped this outcome and must be considered as we move forward and engage in future conflicts.  These factors include a disastrous pivot to a war of choice in Iraq, a failure to have an effective policy to deal with a duplicitous Pakistan, a failure of mission creep from counter-terrorism; and a lack of ability to build an effective Afghan government and security forces.  These failures were compounded by the failures of the Doha agreement by President Trump which won the United States very little, and failures of intelligence, diplomacy and a lack of imagination as we transitioned military forces from the country.  This is not a Democratic or a Republican problem.  These failures have been manifesting over four presidential administrations of both political parties.

“At the appropriate time, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold hearings on what went wrong in Afghanistan and lessons learned to avoid repeating those mistakes.”