Troop withdrawal expected by Aug. 31; lawmakers concerned about Afghan allies

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are concerned about Afghan translators and other allies in the region after President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan will wrap up by the end of August.

The Pentagon says the withdrawal of troops is about 90% complete.

Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he supports Biden’s decision to bring troops home from Afghanistan.

“I think the president made a difficult but the best of many poor choices,” Reed said.

Reed blames the Trump administration for those bad choices.

“The Trump administration had said we were leaving by May 1,” Reed said. The Taliban had no real responsibilities in that agreement, none that they carried out that I can see,” Reed said.

The Pentagon says while the U.S. will not be on the ground in the country, they will still have the ability to support Afghan allies.

“We are not walking away from this relationship,” said John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson. “We’re going to continue to support them from a financial perspective, logistical perspective and certainly aircraft maintenance.”

There’s also concern on Capitol Hill about the Biden administration’s plan to protect or evacuate the 18,000 Afghan translators who worked with the US military.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, worries that the U.S. won’t be able to protect those who have helped troops over the last 20 years.

“I just logistically don’t think it’s possible at this moment and it’s going to be a massive tragedy,” Kinzinger said.  “It’s also going to be a tragedy in the next war, whenever that happens.”

President Biden says most Afghans who have applied for visas under a special program will be moved to other countries where their documents will be processed.

Biden’s original goal was to have U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by September 11.

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