US Congressman Mike Waltz in a letter to President Joe Biden on Friday urged the Administration to take immediate steps to provide assistance to the Afghan people in their fight against the Taliban and make significant changes to their regional strategy.
He requested Biden to provide military resources to assist the Afghan National Security Forces including air support to blunt the Taliban offensive, immediately cut off aid to Pakistan and consider sanctions, and ask for Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad’s resignation “due to his catastrophic diplomatic strategy.”
“The Afghan Government and its people desperately need our help and I urge you to reverse course and provide military resources to assist the Afghan National Security Forces,” he wrote.
First, President Biden can crush the Taliban offensive by committing American air power to support the Afghan Army, Waltz wrote. The Taliban are in the open and exposed as they maneuver to surround Afghan cities. Just as we did in 2001, small groups of special forces partnered with the Air Force will make a dramatic impact and reverse the Taliban’s psychological narrative that victory is inevitable.
Second, he wrote, Biden should send a very clear message to the Taliban’s backers in Pakistan that enough is enough. The Pakistani military is integral in the Taliban’s resurgence. At best, the Pakistanis are turning their backs and complicit in what’s happening. At worst, they’re actively aiding and equipping the Taliban. The US must suspend all aid and consider sanctions on key military and intelligence officials.
“Finally, Biden must shelve our feckless efforts to negotiate with brutal terrorists until the situation is stabilized militarily. The President should fire US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad whose diplomatic strategy has failed spectacularly. Khalilzad convinced the last two administrations that the Taliban had changed, were interested in governing, and cared about diplomacy and peace,” the US congressman said in his letter.
He said that it is not too late to reverse course to prevent complete Taliban control, Al-Qaeda resurgence, and an unraveling of all our investments from the last twenty years.
“If you do not course correct now, Afghanistan could implode by the twentieth anniversary of September 11th. That will be a tragedy that will not only devastate the families and those who have sacrificed so much but the collective conscience of our country. America’s national security and credibility are at stake. The world is watching,” he concluded.
This comes as the Taliban seized at least four provincial capitals in less than 24 hours on Thursday and Friday, including the city of Herat in western Afghanistan and Kandahar in the south.