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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Supporting President Biden’s Plan To Bring American Forces Home From Afghanistan

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor, applauding President Biden’s plan to bring American troops home from Afghanistan. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Yesterday, President Biden announced that American forces will come home from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021.

It has been twenty years since that fateful day when the towers fell and the Pentagon was hit. We in New York live particularly hard with that. I still think of the people I knew who perished: a guy I played basketball with in high school, a businessman who helped me on the way up, a brave firefighter—we used to go around the city urging people to donate blood together.

But in the time since then, America’s Armed Forces, thank God, have become extremely successful in deterring and rooting out terrorist networks around the globe. President Obama authorized the mission that took out Osama Bin Laden, the architect of the 9/11 attacks. Our intelligence agencies have assessed that Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups do not pose an immediate threat to strike the United States from Afghanistan because of the brave work of our Armed Forces and our intelligence organizations.

So after sinking two decades of blood and treasure into wars in the Middle East, it is time to bring our troops home. America does not need to fight forever wars. I applaud President Biden’s decision.

Unlike President Trump, President Biden and Secretary Austin have developed a careful and thought-out plan. This isn’t President Trump waking up one morning and announcing a random new policy on twitter while our generals scramble to catch up. This will be a careful and thought-out plan, with a real timetable and a firm end date.

Whenever we talk about American troops in the Middle East, one of the concerns is mission creep and the enormous pressure to kick the can down the road and delay final decisions. We should—and must—stick to the date the president has proposed as the last day our troops will be there. I have been assured by the White House that the September 11th date will stick, and that President Biden will not kick the can down the road.

I know many senators have questions, and so I’m happy to let my colleagues know that the Administration has agreed to brief all Senators on this important decision. The briefing will take place soon, and everyone’s questions can be asked and answered. The President himself will address the nation later today and explain the reasons for his decision.

In my view, President Biden’s plan to bring American troops home from Afghanistan is a very wise one.