Adam Kinzinger Calls Withdrawal From Afghanistan a 'Crushing Defeat': 'We May Have to Go Back'

Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger lamented the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and hinted that they may have to return to the conflict area.

"It is a crushing defeat, and I'm really sad about it honestly," Kinzinger said during his appearance on NBC News' Meet the Press Sunday.

"The Taliban always had a saying: 'America has the watches but we have the time,'" said the congressman. "I'm proud of the American people for sticking by this mission for 20 years, we actually needed to do it longer."

"The Taliban have outlasted the will of the United States...and we may have to go back now," he added.

WATCH: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) says the U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan represents a “crushing defeat." @RepKinzinger: “The Taliban have outlasted the will of the United States… we may have to go back now.” #MTP

— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 11, 2021

Kinzinger's description of the situation agreed with an article published by The Economist on Saturday, whose headline called the war in Afghanistan a "crushing defeat," as the Taliban has continued to make a comeback in the country without U.S. troop intervention.

President Joe Biden announced plans to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan in April, with a deadline of August 31, just before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Despite the pushback and concerns over increased Taliban activity as U.S. troops pull out, Biden remained firm in his conviction to end American intervention in the 20-year conflict.

"I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome," the president said during a press conference Thursday.

Biden defended his position, saying that staying any longer in Afghanistan would keep America there indefinitely.

"We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build, and it's the right and responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country," Biden said.

The Economist reported that the Taliban is in control of about half of Afghanistan, though it has not yet gained control of any cities. A video posted to Twitter by BBC journalist Kian Sharifi reportedly shows Taliban fighters taking down the Afghani flag at the Islam Qala border crossing, which the Taliban recently claimed to have captured control of on the border with Iran.

Iranian media have widely shared this video, reportedly showing Taliban fighters taking down the flag of Afghanistan at the Islam Qala border crossing.

— Kian Sharifi (@KianSharifi) July 9, 2021

There have been mixed reactions to America's plans to withdraw, and many concerns over the Afghan military's ability to hold back the Taliban without the assistance of American troops.

Meanwhile, Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn described the withdrawal as "arbitrary" on Twitter, and said the decision "abandons the 20 years of sacrifice and dedication our brave men and women have expended to defeat the Taliban."

Ending the war has not been seen as a victory on either side, as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday that the withdrawal is not a moment of celebration. "We're having a moment where we feel it's in our national security interest to bring our men and women serving home," she said, "and we feel it's in our national security interest for Afghan forces to be in the lead."

Adam Kinzinger
GOP Congressman Adam Kinzinger said American troops "may have to go back" to Afghanistan during Meet the Press on July 11, 2021, even as President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal is set to be complete by August 31. In this photo, he speaks after the Republican House caucus voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) of her leadership, at the U.S. Capitol on on May 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images