Kentucky Republicans Urge Continued Sanctions Against Taliban

Sep 14, 2021

Kentucky Republican lawmakers are urging the Biden administration to maintain a hard line against the ascendant Taliban in Afghanistan. 

Taliban fighters patrol a market in Kabul's Old City, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.
Credit AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

Rep. Andy Barr is the lead signatory of a letter calling on the Democratic administration to maintain sanctions against the Taliban – including a travel ban, arms embargo, and asset freezes. The Hill reports 21 lawmakers signed on to the letter expressing concern that Biden’s actions could grant legitimacy to forces which gained swift control over the country amid the U.S. exit.

The letter comes as Sen. Mitch McConnell continues to hammer away at the administration’s chaotic pullout and call on the president to keep the pressure on the Taliban.

"Look, we're talking about a government of medieval theocrats... the same killers, kidnappers, and hostage-takers who aided and abetted the terrorist architects of 9/11," the minority leader said. 

Biden has defended the withdrawal as a necessary conclusion to an “endless war.”

When asked whether the U.S. is recognizing the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers this week that the Taliban is the “de facto government” of the country.