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GOP lawmaker warns Biden: Don’t let Afghanistan and Taliban become the next Israel and Hamas

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National Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Glenn Grothman (R-WI) issued a stern warning during a hearing on US action in Afghanistan Thursday. “We must ensure that Afghanistan and the Taliban are not the next Israel and Hamas,” Grothman said. This comes after President Biden committed to removing all troops from the country by September 11 of this year.

The hearing was titled “Examining Next Steps for U.S. Engagement in Afghanistan” and Grothman pointed out that this was a long time coming. Former President Trump began returning troops in May 2020, the Wisconsin representative reminded fellow committee members.

“But we are here today to discuss ending America’s longest war,” Grothman said. “For nearly 20 years, the U.S. has had a military presence in Afghanistan. Peaking at over 100,000 soldiers. We have lost 2,448 heroes and another 20,722 have been injured.”

Grothman suggested that Trump had a better strategy in 2020, demanding that the Taliban disavow al-Qaeda before he removed all troops. However, Biden has not made such a condition and is removing troops anyway. “We must prioritize a withdrawal that stifles potential violence, protects against a vacuum of terror, maintains regional stability, and maintains social gains – especially those for Afghan women and girls,” Grothman said.

He also alluded that even when the troops are gone, there will still is work to be done. “It is likely the American taxpayer will continue to provide assistance to the Afghan government,” he said.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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CIA director meets with Israeli PM to arouse regional support following drone attack

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By Jenny Goldsberry

Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns visited Israel Wednesday in an effort to rally regional support amidst attacks from Iran. Burns discussed possibilities for regional cooperation with Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Late July, drones struck an Israeli tanker off the coast of Oman. As a result, two crew members died. Since then, the United States blamed Tehran for the attack. Iranian officials deny their involvement.

At the time, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the White House was noticing a disturbing pattern. “We feel it follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behavior,” Psaki said. “And these actions also threaten freedom of navigation through crucial waterways — something that is posing a risk to a range of countries around the world.”
 
Therefore, the press secretary suggested that countries get involved. “You know, I would also note that we know our British partners have called for action, called for steps in a coordinated way from international bodies, including the United Nations, which we would certainly support,” Psaki said. Now, Burns’ visit symbolizes the United State following through on the White House’s comments.

According to a statement from Burns’ office, he met with Bennett after meeting with the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligency agency David Barnea. Burns met the Israeli leader in Tel-Aviv. “They discussed the situation in the Middle East, with emphasis on Iran, and possibilities for expanding and deepening regional cooperation,” the statement read.

Next, Burns will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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