Tuberville on Afghanistan: The Biden Administration Has Forgotten the Lessons of our Past

But what I do know is that President Biden didn’t listen to his military advisers.’

‘Our presence was needed because we wanted to keep Afghanistan from, yet again, becoming a training sanctuary for every would-be terrorist on earth.’

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor regarding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the conflicting narratives from President Biden and his top military advisors. 

Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s remarks can be found below, and the full speech can be viewed here.

“If you ever find yourself questioning the greatness of this country, I encourage you to go talk to one of our young service members. I’m not talking about our old generals or warhorses you often see on TV or around here on Capitol Hill. They won’t renew your faith in America. They may even worry you. I’m talking about the young people.”

“These young people are America’s future. They are the Americans who fought so hard for us in Afghanistan over the last 20 years. And they are the ones so disappointed today of how we abandoned our mission in Afghanistan.”

“Many of them did not remember the bright blue morning on September 11th, 2001, when evil itself boarded four planes here on the East coast and took the lives of 2,977 of our fellow Americans in just a matter of hours.”

“From Afghanistan, Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, two of our embassies in Africa, and bombed the U.S.S. Cole…The Clinton administration thought it could handle Al Qaeda and their terrorist threat with ‘over the horizon’ capabilities. September 11th showed us that strategy doesn’t work.”

“During World War II, my father landed at Normandy and fought the Nazis in Europe.”

“From the time my dad landed at Normandy to when he reached Berlin, he earned five bronze stars and a purple heart. He was lucky. More than 400,000 of our Americans would never return home. Their blood, sweat, and tears saved Europe and the free world. Yet the work of the Greatest Generation didn’t end on May 8th, 1945. America stayed in Germany.”

“And we are today still in Germany. It’s the same success story in Japan and in South Korea. America’s commitment to freedom and democracy didn’t end when the shooting stopped.”

“Today, Germany, Japan, and South Korea are some of the most vibrant economies and democracies in the world. Those nations are also among our closest allies. That, ladies and gentlemen, was our hope for Afghanistan.”

“Every American wants to see war come to an end. War is ugly. War is brutal. War robs lives and destroys property. But freedom is certainly worth fighting for.”

“Our war in Afghanistan ended in 2014. Operation Enduring Freedom transitioned to a supporting role called Operation Resolute Support. That support trained the Afghan army, intelligence, and police forces to fend for themselves. It allowed for greater educational opportunities for young boys and girls. And as the Afghan security forces became increasingly capable, America withdrew her forces. By January 2021, we’d reduced our presence to just 2,500 troops from a high of 98,000 in 2011.”

“President Trump also wanted to go to zero, but his military advisors said it would be unwise. So, President Trump listened and maintained troop levels at 2,500.”

“President Biden claims he doesn’t remember his generals telling him to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Yet, the president’s principal military advisor, General Mark Milley, says he wanted to see 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. The top commander for the Middle East, [General] Frank McKenzie, said he wanted to see 2,500 troops remain in Afghanistan. The top, longest-serving, and most decorated commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, wanted to see 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. 

“[They] clearly all told President Biden that to remain stable and protect the U.S. and our allies, Afghanistan needed small American presence of 2,500 troops. So, when the president says he doesn’t recall or he doesn’t remember, is he telling the truth?”

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.