Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik released the following statement regarding President Biden’s Afghanistan address:

“President Joe Biden's weak address to the American people shows he is unfit to serve as President of the United States. 

“For six days, Joe Biden remained in hiding during the most significant foreign policy and national security failure in a generation. Rather than provide leadership and address the American people and our allies around the world, Joe Biden chose to continue his vacation while the U.S. Embassy in Kabul was abandoned, the Taliban toppled the Afghan government, and tens of thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghans desperately rushed to the airport to be evacuated from Kabul. President Biden’s lack of a plan, dereliction of duty, and deafening silence erodes our credibility to defend U.S. interests in the future. 

“On the precipice of the 20th Anniversary of September 11, the images of Biden's failed and catastrophic withdrawal, including helicopters evacuating Americans from our U.S. embassy and Afghans clinging to U.S. military planes and falling from the skies, will forever be seared into the American psyche and will not soon be forgotten around the world. Because of Joe Biden's weak and feckless leadership, the U.S. is less safe today than we were before he took office. Joe Biden has destroyed our credibility with our allies around the world and emboldened our adversaries like Russia, China, and terrorist groups on the march. This is Joe Biden's Saigon. 

“Joe Biden is desperately attempting to pass the buck. But the buck always stops with the President of the United States. There is only one Commander-in-Chief. There is only one person who sits behind the Resolute Desk. The responsibility for this failure rests solely with President Joe Biden. 

“President Trump's Afghanistan policy was always conditions-based. President Joe Biden totally abandoned that conditions-based requirement and allowed the Taliban to break the deal and essentially erase overnight two decades of American sacrifice, service, blood, and treasure. 

“As the Representative for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division – the most deployed Army division since 9/11 – I am grateful to the soldiers and military families who selflessly served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years to protect U.S. national security interests. Your sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by the American people. Joe Biden owes every American veteran an apology for his dereliction of duty and his shameful decision to desert the American people and our allies during this most critical time. 

“Through my work on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I remain committed to keeping America safe and secure. The North Country will never forget the service of our troops, diplomats, and intelligence professionals who sacrificed so much in Afghanistan for over 20 years.”