Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Statement on Afghanistan Crisis

The people of Afghanistan are facing a terrible tragedy. It is crucial that we ensure the safe evacuation of Americans and allies, including our Afghan allies. That must be our top priority. This is an untenable and dire situation, and we have a moral obligation to protect Afghans seeking refuge.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) released the following statement on the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan on August 16:

“The people of Afghanistan are facing a terrible tragedy. It is crucial that we ensure the safe evacuation of Americans and allies, including our Afghan allies. That must be our top priority. This is an untenable and dire situation, and we have a moral obligation to protect Afghans seeking refuge.

“We should expedite Special Immigrant Visas and support all in Afghanistan —U.S. Citizens, women, journalists, civil servants and activists, and allies of U.S. troops—who need safe passage. This includes working with surrounding countries to encourage the welcoming of Afghan refugees across their borders.

“As Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, I stand ready and committed to use my position to provide any and all support and investment in humanitarian relief and ensure the safe resettlement of the Afghan people.

“We must also remain intensely focused on investing in the safety and security of Afghan women and girls. An entire generation of Afghan women and girls have now seen the potential for a life of freedom and opportunity. The international community must continue to prioritize their rights and protection.

“Our courageous men and women in the armed services did exactly what they were asked to do. I pray for their return and the return of those still there defending the lives of Americans and Afghans on the ground in Kabul. We must get clear answers for how we got here and how to avoid repeating our mistakes.

“President Biden correctly laid out (Monday) what has been clear for 20 years: there has never, and will never be, a U.S. military solution in Afghanistan.”

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