Moran rips leadership ‘void’ in Afghanistan; Mann, Marshall hail student loan decision

by Tim Carpenter, Kansas Reflector
July 6, 2023

TOPEKA — U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran said analysis of U.S. leadership blunders while fighting in Afghanistan had to be studied and integrated into training to avoid repeating those mistakes.

Moran, a Kansas Republican, said the U.S. Department of State’s release of the Afghanistan After Action Review included a damning account of mismanagement during the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

“The inherent difficulties of an evacuation were clearly exacerbated by a void in leadership, which resulted in the deaths of American servicemembers and stranded thousands of our Afghan allies behind enemy lines,” he said.

The State Department report indicated decisions by the administrations of President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden to pull troops from Afghanistan had detrimental consequences in terms of viability of the Afghan government. The report faulted both administrations for “insufficient senior-level consideration of worst-case scenarios.”

The report detailed shortcomings leading to the evacuation operation after 20 years on the ground. On Aug. 26, 2001, a suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport killed 11 U.S. Marines, one U.S. Army paratrooper, one U.S. Navy corpsman and 170 Afghans.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Tracey Mann and U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, both Kansas Republicans, reveled in the U.S. Supreme Court decision that President Joe Biden’s student debt cancellation program was unconstitutional.

“The president’s plan would have transferred debt from borrowers who took out student loans to hardworking taxpayers who did not,” Mann said. “Now is not the time to erase debt that student borrowers knowingly took on. Americans deserve a well-developed, long-term solution that addresses the high cost of education — not a short-term Band-Aid that buys votes and adds to our nation’s record high inflation.”

In 2022, Biden proposed a relief plan to cancel $10,000 to $20,000 in debt held by students. The plan included an income-based repayment initiative to substantially reduce future monthly payments for lower- and middle-income borrowers.

Marshall said Biden’s program on college debt amounted to a “kickback to his far-left political base.”

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith for questions: Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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