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West Michigan Congressional leaders voice displeasure with U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan

U.S. Air Force C-17 transport, Kabul International Airport photo
Verified UGC via AP
Verified UGC via AP
U.S. Air Force C-17 transport, Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan

As President Joe Biden addressed the nation Monday afternoon about the U.S. military pullout from Afghanistan. He made the point there’s never a good time for a military withdrawal. However, the speed of the Taliban’s takeover of the country is troubling to West Michigan’s congressional leaders.

On Twitter, U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga posted “POTUS is finally speaking and his first point is this collapse of Kabul was planned for?!?! And for the record, he opposed taking out Osama Bin Laden in the final operation.” The Zeeland Republican adding, “The speech by @POTUS is disconnected from the realities on the ground of Afghanistan. “The buck stops with me” is what he said after he blamed the Afghan troops, that history of the region and every previous president, including the one he served as VP.”

U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer is a member of the U.S. Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs Committees, on Fox News said, “I think the assumption had been that we would have six to nine months that the Afghan government would stay in place. That there would be military forces fighting. Clearly, they collapsed within a matter of days.” The Grand Rapids Republican adding, “The entirety of the Biden Administration’s strategy was predicated on having that window of time to complete this military withdrawal. That we didn’t even get to the beginning of that withdrawal until the Taliban were in the Presidential Palace. So, at every stage we have underestimated the Taliban, overestimated the Afghan government and what we’re seeing right now is the consequences of that failure to appreciate the magnitude of this situation.”

On Twitter, Meijer says the priority know is to evacuate American citizens & Afghans who served along side us.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.