Senator Wicker Statement on President Biden’s Third Failed Attempt at the Gaza Pier Mission

June 28, 2024


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the highest-ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), responded to press reports that the Gaza pier has again been suspended because of rough sea conditions and may not be redeployed.


Previous press reports indicated the Mediterranean Sea’s rough waters were expected to worsen over the summer, which called into question if the pier would be an effective conduit for humanitarian aid.


The pier was under construction or in planning phases for 68 days. Then, it was operating for 11 days before breaking apart and being paused for 10. Earlier this month, it resumed for three days, then paused for three days, and it was again shut down again for another four days because of difficult sea states. It was then redeployed another time for eight days before shutting down.


In total, the pier appears to have been offline or under construction more than four times as long as it has been operational.


Senator Wicker released the following statement:


“How long until the White House approves a federal disaster declaration for this mission? President Biden’s unworkable pier went from being the crown jewel of his State of the Union to barely being able to stay above water. This tragic waste of our military’s time is what happens when politics is put ahead of practicality. The window has closed for this disastrous project to make any meaningful difference,” Senator Wicker said.


Senator Wicker has been raising the alarm on the Gaza pier project since March, when he wrote a Washington Examiner op-ed highlighting its potential risks to U.S. forces and led his SASC colleagues on a letter to President Biden asking basic questions about its operational solvency.


This failure was predicted by every Republican member of SASC. The Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act passed earlier this month directs an Inspector General report on the poor planning that precipitated this decision.


In the letter, Senator Wicker and his colleagues wrote: “As has been widely reported in the press, armed gangs are attacking aid convoys crossing into the strip. Your decision to build a pier for Gaza merely creates another port of entry that will be backlogged.” This was sadly prescient: as of June 24, DoD informed the Senate Armed Services Committee that of the 6,206 metric tons of humanitarian assistance that had been moved into Gaza via the pier, 5,228 metric tons – more than 84 percent –“remains in the marshaling yard ashore awaiting transfer and distribution.”