President Biden Broke Cardinal Rule in Afghanistan: “Leave No Man Behind”

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Mark Green gave the following statement, as prepared for delivery, during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing titled, “During and After the Fall of Kabul: Examining the Administration’s Emergency Evacuation from Afghanistan.”

Rep. Green’s Remarks:

“Thank you, Chairman, for your persistent leadership on this issue. And thanks to our witnesses here today. Rangers Lead the Way, Night Stalkers Don’t Quit. 

“Many of you may recall from the Movie Lone Survivor, that a Night Stalker helicopter crashed attempting to rescue the stranded SEAL team. All on board perished, including my friend Stephen Reich and another man I know from the unit, MSG Tre Ponder. Tre’s parents are my constituents, and I often see them at events in the district.  

“Before I begin my comments, I want to say a word to my fellow Afghanistan veterans: our service and our sacrifice was not in vain. We kept America safe from a terrorist attack for over 20 years. No one who served, and like myself, lost friends, should ever feel it was for nothing. We protected America, you protected America for 20 years.

“When I signed into the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, one of the first guys to greet me was the senior medic—Corey. Corey was recovering from wounds sustained on Roberts Ridge. The Navy SEAL Neal Roberts fell from one of our aircraft and was unable to rescue him. But we live by the code—leave no man behind, so two chinook helos were dispatched with a massive quick reaction force. As they landed to attempt the rescue of Roberts, both were shot down, and 40 or so Rangers, SEALs and Special Operation Aviators were stranded. The intense battle lasted almost 24 hours. Seven Americans gave their lives because they lived by the oath—leave no person behind.

“The Ranger Creed, which I had to learn back in the day, has a line or two relevant to today. Every Ranger graduate, and member of the Ranger regiment knows this creed. Those lines, ‘I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstance will I ever embarrass my country. 

“Senior General Officers at the Pentagon told me they insisted the evacuation occur from Bagram Air Base.… Those leaders told the President and Secretary of State we need 3,500 troops to guard the base for the exfiltration. According to those generals, President Biden himself said no, go to 600 troops. With 600 you can’t hold Bagram, so the decision to exfiltrate from Kabul became necessary. That decision killed 13 American warriors and left hundreds of American citizens behind enemy lines. Many of whom fell into the hands of the enemy. And more, that decision made by Joe Biden to leave Americans behind was an embarrassment for this nation, and it most certainly crystallized Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. 

“We live by the oath, ‘Leave no man behind,’ wouldn’t it be great if our Commander in Chief actually believed that.

Watch Rep. Green’s full remarks here