Today President Joe Biden will announce his plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 of this year. That date will mark 20 years of American military involvement in the country, following the 2001 terrorist attack. Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat who represents Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District and is a former Marine Corps officer, spoke to Boston Public Radio on Wednesday about Biden’s plan.
“We’ve learned over 20 years that these wars are a lot harder to get out of than they are to get into,” he said. “It’s important that we’re careful as we withdraw.”
Moulton said he wants to see the troops brought home and that he believes most American likely feel the same.
“But, having witnessed the fitful withdraw in Iraq and seeing us have to put more troops back in to fight ISIS a few years after we pulled out, it just proves that we’ve got to be thoughtful about how we do this,” he said. “The worst thing we could do is pull the troops out and then have to turn around and send them back in.”
There are three things that the United States must do in Afghanistan to ensure a successful withdraw of troops, Moulton said.
“We need to make sure there’s not another 9/11-style terrorist attack on the United States, and we need to give the Afghan government a chance to govern,” he said. “And we’ve got to recognize that this region of the world is a place that has a lot of instability so we may need a base or two there in the future.”
If those three things are accomplished, Moulton thinks the U.S. can significantly reduce its troops. “If we do those things we can bring the vast majority of the troops home,” he said.