The course of this past week’s events in Afghanistan has been devastating. While we applaud President Biden’s decision to withdraw and end America’s longest war, the lack of an effective evacuation plan for our Afghan allies has created a dangerous situation. The Afghan communities seeking a way out and our service members who are currently on the ground dealing with the fallout are in our thoughts.
We cannot state strongly enough how important the safety of our Afghan allies is to the veteran community.
U.S. military veterans—especially those who worked tirelessly to bring an end to the longest war in U.S. history—need our leaders to step up and guarantee the safety of our Afghan allies, their families, and the most vulnerable Afghan communities including women, children, members of religious and ethnic minorities, journalists, and activists.
We don’t have time to wait for third countries, many of which have lobbed xenophobic and racist attacks on the people of Afghanistan amid this international crisis. Right away, we must welcome Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and refugees into the United States—whether to our mainland or to Guam—with open arms.
We also call upon President Biden to address the xenophobic and racist attacks —which are obstructing urgent evacuation measures as we speak— during the convening of G7 leaders next week and guarantee the humane treatment of Afghan refugees. The global community must acknowledge the responsibility we all have to the people of Afghanistan, and with an unstable situation unfolding as we speak, there’s no time to delay.
This is an opportunity for world leaders to reimagine our refugee and asylum systems so they protect all people fleeing persecution and violence, including the thousands of Afghans facing imminent danger. This is a human rights crisis with human lives at stake.
As Commander-in-Chief—and indeed a leader on the world stage—President Biden pledged to mobilize every resource necessary to accomplish this mission. Now, we are counting on him to live up to his promises and do everything in his power to get Afghan allies and refugees out of Afghanistan quickly and safely. As veterans, trust us when we say it’s the absolute least we can do.
Team Common Defense