Aug. 27, 2021

Blames Biden administration for mishandling withdrawal, must change course

HARRISBURG – Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) a retired Marine reserve colonel who served during the Vietnam era, and in Afghanistan and Iraq, is appalled at the events now unfolding in Afghanistan and the Biden administration’s handling of the U.S. withdrawal there.

“We have learned that several members of our Marine Corps and Navy families have been killed in action and many more wounded in senseless terrorist attacks at the airport in Kabul,” said Ryan. “These attacks also claimed the lives of several civilians, including those who assisted U.S. operations over the past 20-years. Their families are going to be receiving some horrific news and their devastation will be compounded by the fact that this operation was handled so poorly.

“Our national leaders have failed us on this,” said Ryan. “I have absolutely no confidence in the president and his national security staff. What is happening in Kabul is potentially one of the most dangerous events in the history of the United States.

“I ask every member of Congress to demand that this plan be reviewed and executed appropriately. I have served in Afghanistan and have spent time in Kabul. There is no easy way to resupply and extricate our forces from that airport. We must reopen Bagram Air Base and ensure a safe exit for American personnel at the airport in Kabul.

“As a member of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and the state Legislature, I am very concerned about the impact these events will have on Pennsylvania servicemembers, particularly those who served in Afghanistan, believed in our mission and had friends who died there. Likewise, I am concerned about our Vietnam veterans, who after seeing the airlifts at Kabul airport, may be reliving the trauma of the fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh.

“Like our problematic withdrawal from Vietnam nearly 50-years ago, the mishandling of our withdrawal from Afghanistan may leave many servicemembers with the feeling that their service and sacrifice and the deaths of their comrades was for naught,” said Ryan. “This will have a lasting negative impact on our veterans, the U.S. military and the public. We simply must do this right.”


Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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