Democratic Jason Crow of Colorado said on Tuesday that it’s not possible for the United States to evacuate all U.S. citizens and Afghan allies trapped in Afghanistan before the August 31 withdrawal deadline that President Biden is reportedly sticking to following Taliban demands that U.S. forces leave by then.
“We have a moral obligation to ensure that we get American citizens out and our Afghan partners out. There are more of those folks in the country, in Afghanistan, right now than we have the capability to evacuate between now and the end of the month,” Crow told reporters on Tuesday. “That’s why the mission must be extended, and we have to do what’s necessary to get people out, and it doesn’t have to do with a date on the calendar.”
“This is not a Taliban-negotiated date, this was a date the United States set,” Crow said, noting that circumstances have now changed since President Biden first announced the August 31 withdrawal date in the spring.
“We have a mission that has to get done,” Crow said. “There is broad bipartisan agreement within the United States Congress and across this country that we have to get American citizens out and we have to get our Afghan partners and allies out.”
“This is a very complicated, very high-risk mission,” said Crow, who served three tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. “But . . . if we aren’t willing to use the U.S. military to protect U.S. citizens and our partners and our friends, then what will we use our military for?”
He added that missions such as these are “why we have the biggest, strongest military in the world, and that is to protect our people.”