WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, on Sunday joined CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper to discuss the Biden administration’s continued efforts to evacuate Americans and our Afghan partners and if the U.S. should formally recognize the Taliban.
Murphy said the United States should not formally recognize the Taliban. He continued: “I also don't think it's a great idea as some are suggesting to recognize opposition forces that are not actually running the country. It tends to make the United States look pretty weak when we are recognizing people as the leaders of a government that actually aren't running the government. But it doesn't mean that we shouldn't be talking to the Taliban. Even if we don't formally recognize them, we're going to have to be in discussions with them. We're going to have to tell them the consequences for their actions if they don't continue to allow at the very least, American citizens, green card holders, and the people in the SIV pipeline to get out of the country.”
On the need for an investigation into what went wrong in Afghanistan for the past two decades, Murphy said: “When Congress does this oversight, I want to make sure that it's over the last 20 years, not just the last two months, because to believe that there was some way to do this evacuation in a way that didn't have panic on the ground and didn't have a risk of loss of life, I think is the same kind of fantasy thinking that led us to stay in Afghanistan for 10 years too long, even when we knew the Afghan forces couldn't stand up for themselves.”
On criticism of the Biden administration that the evacuations should have begun earlier, Murphy said: “We were under the belief in the spring and summer of this year that the Afghan military would stand up and fight, and the military and the government was telling us that if you start the mass evacuation of the embassy, of Afghans, it was going to sap the will from our soldiers to stand up and defend the country. It was logical to believe that a mass evacuation too early would have actually led to the result that we were trying to avoid, which was the collapse of the government…Even if we had begun that evacuation earlier, there still would have been, frankly, tens if not hundreds of thousands of Afghans that upon the…unexpected overnight collapse of the government would have rushed the airport. There still would have been the scenes that we're seeing today with all of the incumbent security threats that are attached to it.”
On keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Murphy said: “I think if you asked my constituents, they were not necessarily willing to sacrifice another 20 years of American blood and treasure as to the question of who controls Afghanistan. I know that's a really hard conversation. But there are really awful despotic regimes, all around the world, and the United States does not make the decision to send our troops into every single one when we have an issue with the human rights decisions of a particular foreign regime.”
Murphy authored an op-ed in USA Today in support of President Biden’s decision to end the longest war in our nation’s history. Murphy released a statement after the Taliban took control of the presidential palace in Kabul. Murphy delivered remarks on the Senate floor on the situation in Afghanistan. Murphy has long been supportive of President Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Click here to view the entirety of Murphy’s interview.