Miller-Meeks says Afghanistan situation major setback for counter terrorism effort
WASHINGTON — Republican Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa says the Biden Administration must act quickly to evacuate Afghans who’ve helped the U.S. military over the past two decades.
“We have to make a concerted effort,” Miller-Meeks said. “Even though there was, in my view, no planning or a horrible execution of a plan if there was a plan, we need to be able to get those individuals out of Afghanistan and to safety.”
Miller-Meeks said leaving allies behind will impact America’s ability to collect intelligence and conduct counter-terrorism activities in the future.
“We have a responsibility to these individuals to help protect them and extricate them out of the country,” she said. “We know how the Taliban operates. We know how al-Qaida operates. We know they’ll be executed.”
Miller-Meeks is a 24-year Army veteran. She’s joined a small, bipartisan group of younger House members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to press for speeding up the approval process for visas for Afghans who were interpreters, as well as journalists and those who assisted U.S. forces over the past 20 years.
“We were legislatively trying to do everything we could to push the administration,” Miller-Meeks said. “…These were things that should have already been in the works, should have already been working towards to extricate those individuals as rapidly as possible so that we are not in the situation that we are currently in.”
Miller-Meeks said President Biden needs to ask for the resignations of generals or U.S. intelligence officials if it’s determined their bad advice led to today’s situation in Afghanistan. Miller-Meeks said the U.S. went into Afghanistan to ensure the country wasn’t a safe harbor for terrorists and she said the long-term strategy should have been to leave 2500 U.S. troops in the country to continue a counter-terrorism mission.