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World GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert slams Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal but voted against visas for Afghan partners last month

05:00  20 september  2021
05:00  20 september  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

After two decades and billions spent, Afghan government collapses as Taliban takes Kabul

  After two decades and billions spent, Afghan government collapses as Taliban takes Kabul The Taliban, which for hours had been in the outskirts of Kabul, announced soon after they would move farther into a city gripped by panic.Embattled President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the Taliban entered the capital city of Kabul, and American troops scrambled to evacuate thousands of U.S. diplomats and Afghans from the U.S. Embassy.

a person wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference held by members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 29, 2021, to complain about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and masking policies. Andrew Harnik/AP Images © Andrew Harnik/AP Images Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference held by members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 29, 2021, to complain about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and masking policies. Andrew Harnik/AP Images
  • GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert compared Biden's exit from Afghanistan to the US's withdrawal from Vietnam.
  • Boebert, who's pushed for the US exit, suggested Biden left Afghan partners in the lurch.
  • But Boebert vote against a bill last month that would increase the number of US immigration visas for Afghans.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Many Republicans, including those who supported ending the US occupation of Afghanistan under former President Donald Trump, were quick to attack the Biden administration's withdrawal from the country as Taliban forces swiftly took control over the weekend.

These 16 Republicans voted against speeding up visas for Afghans fleeing the Taliban

  These 16 Republicans voted against speeding up visas for Afghans fleeing the Taliban Some Republicans now criticizing Biden voted to block legislation that would have expedited visas to help Afghanistan civilians fleeing the Taliban.The House overwhelmingly passed a bill to make it easier for Afghans who assisted the American military to relocate to the U.S. The Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act (ALLIES) Act was approved by a 407-16 vote on July 22. The 16 "no" votes were all from Republicans.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican, slammed the administration's exit in a series of tweets over the weekend and compared the military's evacuation of Americans from the embassy in Kabul to the US's rushed exit from Saigon as the North Vietnamese took over in 1975.

"Joe Biden was in the Senate when America pulled out of Saigon in 1975," Boebert tweeted on Sunday alongside a photo of American military and civilians evacuating from Vietnam. "He didn't learn."

By drawing a comparison with Saigon, Boebert, who's pushed to end the 20-year-long war, suggested that President Joe Biden's rapid exit left US partners in Afghanistan in the lurch. Many others have made a similar comparison, arguing that the US should have done more to help protect and evacuate Afghan civilians who've allied themselves with the US and many of whom are now targets for the Taliban.

Lauren Boebert fails to file 2019 financial disclosure; sale of cargo plane remains a mystery

  Lauren Boebert fails to file 2019 financial disclosure; sale of cargo plane remains a mystery Boebert posted huge business losses in 2018, and her financial entanglements for the last two years are confusing Lauren Boebert Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

But last month, Boebert opposed increasing aid to Afghans who worked with the US military. The congresswoman was one of 16 House Republicans who voted against a bill introduced by her fellow Colorado representative, Democrat Jason Crow, to issue an additional 8,000 immigration visas to Afghans who helped the US military over the last two decades. The bill passed the House with 407 votes in favor and awaits a vote in the Senate.

Crow criticized Boebert in his own tweet on Monday.

"Wait a minute. A few weeks ago you were 1 of only 16 members of Congress who voted against my bill to expand and speed up the visa program to evacuate and save our Afghan partners," he wrote.


Video: Mitch McConnell: Afghanistan Withdrawal Is A 'Stain On The Reputation' Of The U.S. (Newsweek)

He was responding to a tweet in which Boebert wrote: "Joe has a 48 year history of making bad decisions. Add this weekend's foreign policy decisions to the list."

Defense secretaries in their own words: US 'invented reasons' to stay in Afghanistan

  Defense secretaries in their own words: US 'invented reasons' to stay in Afghanistan The Taliban blitz exposes the failure of the 20-year Afghanistan war and portends terrorism threats, say former defense secretaries Panetta and Hagel.Afghan security forces, trained and equipped at the cost of $83 billion, wilted before Taliban fighters. With few exceptions, the Taliban rolled through provincial capitals without a fight despite a force of Afghan troops that was supposed to number more than 300,000.  In reality, there were far fewer Afghan forces because of desertions and commanders who reportedly pocketed the pay of ghost soldiers they had kept on rolls. For those who remained and fought, there wasn't enough ammunition and food, to say nothing of pay.

A spokesperson for Boebert didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Crow's "ALLIES Act" aims to increase the number of special immigration visas given to Afghans from 11,000 to 19,000 - expanding a program Congress originally created in 2008.

"For 20 years, Afghan interpreters, guides and other partners have served alongside U.S. forces, helping us complete our mission," Crow, an Afghanistan war veteran, told The Denver Post last month. "I may not be here today were it not for the bravery and sacrifice of the Afghan men and women who worked with me during my service."

When the Biden administration announced it would keep US troops in Afghanistan past the May withdrawal deadline the Trump administration established, Boebert suggested the government should exit sooner.

"We've been in Afghanistan for more than half my life," she tweeted. "We need to end the endless wars."

In another tweet, the freshman congresswoman attempted to mock the Biden administration's tagline by claiming, "The Taliban are the only people building back better."

Biden, for his part, supported the US's full withdrawal from Vietnam in the 1975 and criticized "careless military involvement abroad."

Read the original article on Business Insider

News Analysis: What went wrong in Afghanistan? .
With the Taliban in control in Afghanistan's capital and the Biden administration under fire for a chaotic withdrawal, a look at what went wrong.Achieving that goal also included overthrowing the Taliban, and steadily the mission morphed into a vast, complicated experiment to reshape a society that few Americans understood.

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