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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Hamas Claims Responsibility for Deadly Attack in West Jerusalem
In a tragic incident on Thursday, two gunmen opened fire at a bus stop in West Jerusalem, resulting in the deaths of three Israelis and injuries to 16 others. Hamas, the militant group against which Israel declared war after a previous deadly terror attack, has claimed responsibility for this latest act of violence.
The motive behind the attack, according to Hamas, is in response to what they consider Israeli “crimes” committed in Gaza, as reported by the BBC. This assault occurred amid an existing ceasefire between the two sides, adding complexity to the situation.
Off-duty soldiers and a civilian at the scene took swift action, successfully neutralizing the gunmen. Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman informed reporters that the assailants approached the bus stop in a car and were armed with two weapons. Subsequent investigations revealed a significant amount of ammunition in the gunmen’s vehicle.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during a meeting with Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, condemned the attack, emphasizing that it serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat of terrorism faced by Israel and its people daily.
The incident underscores the volatile nature of the conflict and the challenges in maintaining stability, even during periods of ceasefire. As investigations continue, the international community closely watches developments in the region, hoping for a path toward lasting peace and security for all involved.
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