HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Democratic Congresswoman, and former CIA case officer, Abigail Spanberger told 8News she supports President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by September 11; all the while calling the decision “challenging” as the country moves forward.
“I know that it’s not one [decision] that the administration came to lightly,” Spanberger said.
The representative from Virginia’s seventh congressional district acknowledged removing American troops presents risks, noting “there could be a destabilizing factor,” potentially rolling back progress made by the U.S.
“Certainly there are significant challenges between the government and Taliban leadership, a level of instability that could grow and weaken the steps forward that we have seen the Afghan government make, could be in peril.” she said.
The congresswoman said she believes there will be significant hurdles to ensure measures are done “the right way” when troops are withdrawn, vying for an appropriate “level of civility.”
“Ultimately, my expectation and my hope is that we can continue to engage diplomatically, economically with Afghanistan—certainly with government leaders—to help the process of continuing to stabilize their country, as we do with other nations that continue to struggle with their democracy, and really ensuring that it can take root and grow,” Spanberger said.
Spanberger additionally worries about the rights of women and girls in the country due to a past record of Taliban forces targeting them, and a history of excluding them from education opportunities.
Despite a belief that America’s goals set after 2001 “have been met,” she expressed a “hope that our diplomats, our military counterparts, and certainly our intelligence community will stay readily engaged as the Afghan government begins this new chapter.