Aug. 25, 2021

HARRISBURG – As tensions continue to run high in Afghanistan, Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) released the following statement calling on the Biden administration to order a delay of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in order to conduct a proper and orderly evacuation, instead of following through with the planned Aug. 31 exit:

“In the wake of the worst foreign policy disaster since the Fall of Saigon, the Biden administration must delay troop withdrawals by 90 days to allow for the orderly evacuation of all U.S. citizens and military personnel, as well as every allied Afghan or third-country national cleared to assist the U.S. with operations. We must evacuate our friends as refugees in accordance with United Nations protocols.

“What has transpired is not only a national security issue, it’s also very personal to me. I have been contacted by friends overseas who served alongside me as interpreters during my time in Iraq as a captain in the U.S. Army, who have vividly portrayed the life and death scenarios their families and friends are currently facing. The same mantra applies here as it did when I fought alongside my brothers and sisters on the battlefield: ‘leave no one behind.’

“As we approach the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the scars from that fateful day have been reopened. We declared war on the Taliban and terrorists in Afghanistan to let them know our intention to bear any burden and pay any price to secure our country and the continuance of our hard-won freedoms. It pains me greatly to see the country’s longest military engagement become a trophy for the Taliban. Families of 9/11 victims and soldiers who served and sacrificed deserve an explanation for this colossal failure.

“While drawing down in Afghanistan may have been inevitable, the current plan presents a worst-case scenario and harms America’s interests abroad. Delaying our withdrawal to create the conditions for a more orderly exit will help our allies and friends in this desperate time.”

Representative Robert Mercuri
28th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nate Temple