Pasadena Congressman Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called the situation in Afghanistan “tragic” in a statement Sunday.
“America went to war in Afghanistan after September 11 to kill the mastermind of that deadly assault and reduce the threat of another attack on our soil. In this we were successful, but it came at a great cost to our brave service members and their families,” Schiff said. “We owe them a debt we can never repay.
“It is heartbreaking to watch the precipitous fall of the Afghan government after so many Americans sacrificed for two decades in an attempt to build a different future for the Afghan people. After such a lengthy American military commitment, the continued presence of thousands of U.S. troops was unsustainable and would not have led to a different result years from now. And still, while a Taliban takeover of the country was foreseeable, it has taken place with tragic and breathtaking speed.”
Schiff said the most imminent task is to get American troops, diplomatic personnel, and citizens safely out of Afghanistan.
“And, as I have said for years, we have an obligation to safeguard the Afghan partners who served and sacrificed alongside us, as well other individuals at imminent risk, such as journalists, civil servants, and civil society advocates – especially women who may be targeted for violence by the Taliban for their activism,” he said.
Saying it won’t be easy, Schiff said he believes the Biden administration must direct significant resources toward the safe evacuation of these vulnerable Afghans and continue to provide pathways for resettlement in the years that follow.
“The House Intelligence Committee will hold a classified briefing for members soon,” Schiff said.