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Quigley Statement on Afghanistan

Aug 16, 2021
Press Release

Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement on Afghanistan:

“We went to war in Afghanistan to eliminate the mastermind of the September 11 attacks and the extremists who harbored him, and to defend our national security. While we succeeded in that mission, we were not prepared for the realities of nation-building and the resulting protracted military engagement in the country. We were similarly unprepared for two decades worth of officials concealing the realities on the ground and telling half-truths to the American public, leading us to where we are today. Both parties, four presidents, and hundreds of elected officials and military leaders are responsible for this failure. It is our collective responsibility to now salvage what we can—including by protecting those in harm’s way in Afghanistan right now—and ensure nothing like this happens again.

“In the coming days and weeks, our chief priority must be the safe evacuation of Americans and Afghans seeking refuge. We have a moral obligation to undertake a broad resettlement effort for any Afghans who, at great personal risk, worked alongside us for years. We must also take steps to protect those who are now especially vulnerable to the encroaching Taliban – including journalists, activists, former civil servants, and women and girls.  It is simply unacceptable that after twenty years in Afghanistan we still do not have an effective process in place to get these individuals out. I do not expect this effort to be easy, but I do expect the Biden administration to use every tool at their disposal to help the most vulnerable people. Bureaucracy cannot stand in the way of saving lives.

“I am deeply saddened by the current situation in Afghanistan. After two decades of deployments of young Americans to strengthen the local government and train a national military force, it is incredibly frustrating to watch the Taliban’s rapid advance. I am particularly heartbroken for the generation of young Afghans who prepared for a different future and now face a challenging path ahead.”