Adam Kinzinger Says U.S. Exit Didn't End 'Endless War' After Kabul Bombings

Representative Adam Kinzinger said that Thursday's attacks in Kabul showed that withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan did not work to end an "endless war," as President Joe Biden as well as many Democratic and Republican lawmakers have said it would.

Critics of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, as well as ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, have readily used the term "endless war" or "forever war" to describe the situation. They have said the U.S. must end these conflicts by bringing U.S. troops home, as there are often no clearly set goals or timelines for such wars to end.

"The Taliban promised they would secure the perimeter. They didn't. We need to go get our fellow Americans and allies," Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, tweeted on Thursday after news of the Kabul attacks and casualties broke. "Obviously our exit didn't end the 'endless war.' The enemy gets a vote too."

The Taliban promised they would secure the perimeter. They didn’t. We need to go get our fellow Americans and allies.

Obviously our exit didn’t end the “endless war.” The enemy gets a vote too.

— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) August 26, 2021

At least 12 U.S. troops were killed in the Kabul bombing, which occurred outside the airport's Abbey Gate, on Thursday, with at least 15 others injured, the Associated Press reported. Some 60 Afghans were killed as well.

"We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate," Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said in a Thursday tweet.

U.S. officials had warned of possible attacks by the extremist group ISIS-K targeting the area near the airport. The militant Islamist State group—which is staunchly opposed to the U.S. as well as the Taliban—claimed responsibility on Thursday.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a top spokesperson for the Taliban, tweeted after the blasts that the Taliban "strongly condemns the bombing of civilians" at the airport.

The U.S. military has been frantically working to evacuate thousands of Americans and Afghan nationals in the wake of the Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan. In February 2020, the Taliban signed a peace deal with the Trump administration that would have seen the U.S. withdraw all its forces from the country as of May 1 of this year.

After President Joe Biden took office, he moved the deadline back to September 11 but then moved it forward to August 31. The Taliban regained control of the country two weeks before that deadline.

The U.S. military has maintained control of Kabul's international airport, and the Taliban has largely appeared to allow Americans and many Afghan nationals to flee the country. The U.S. has reportedly evacuated more than 82,000 people, despite the chaos involved with the rapid operation.

Adam Kinzinger
After Thursday's bombing attack in Kabul, Representative Adam Kinzinger said the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan did not end an "endless war." Above, Kinzinger questions witnesses during the House select committee investigation of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

While Kinzinger and many other lawmakers were highly critical of Trump's peace deal with the Taliban, as well as Biden's withdrawal of troops, others have defended the president's decision to pull out.

"The explosion outside the Kabul airport is an ugly reminder of why leaving Afghanistan remains important," Defense Priorities Senior Fellow Daniel Davis told Newsweek.

"The U.S. was unable to prevent violence like this while having many more thousands of troops deployed, and there is no reliable way to prevent all such violence during and after this overdue withdrawal," said Davis, a retired lieutenant colonel.