Statement on U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

August 16, 2021

As Kabul falls to the Taliban, my heart goes out to the people of Afghanistan. The suffering of the Afghani people should be the concern of all human beings, and it is incumbent upon the international community to take action to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan that are caught in the mix of war.

Let me be clear: while the evil of the Taliban is theirs alone, we cannot ignore the role that U.S. foreign policy has played in manufacturing the current crisis. Our country has now spent two decades occupying the region without clear goals or strategy, playing chess with human lives. Afghanistan deserves better than to be treated as a board on which to play out endless war games.

We must take responsibility for our actions and resolve to end our program of military interference in the affairs of other nations. We must not, however, abandon Afghans to whom we have promised safe harbor. I call upon President Biden and the State Department to work quickly and aggressively to evacuate the tens of thousands of Afghani residents who have been collaborators and allies over the last twenty years through the Special Immigrant Visa program, and to resettle them in the United States expeditiously.