Human Rights First Deeply Disappointed in Biden’s “America First” Position on Afghanistan, Lack of Detailed Plans for Allies
WASHINGTON – In his remarks today, President Biden brazenly defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan absent a real plan to evacuate the Afghans who worked with American troops, and failed to acknowledge or announce new action steps to circumvent the escalating danger to allies in need of evacuation now that the Taliban has seized control of Afghanistan’s capital city.
“Rather than blaming Trump, the Afghan people, or the thousands of allies who bled beside American troops for his administration’s failures, President Biden must take immediate action to ensure that the way the U.S. leaves Afghanistan does not become a permanent stain on his legacy and America’s legacy around the globe,” said Chris Purdy, project manager for Veterans for American Ideals. “The Biden administration must immediately deploy the military assets necessary to secure the airport in Kabul and begin to deploy multiple, daily and hourly evacuation flights to bring our allies to safety in the United States. The president has the legal authority to make this happen today and should do so via parole immediately. A failure to take these actions now will assure the murder of thousands of innocents.”
Also in his remarks, the president also mischaracterized Afghans as not choosing to leave their country. In fact, visas (when Afghans are able to secure them) are valid for five months, but travel is often booked in the last few weeks of visa validity. In order to travel immediately, Afghans would have had to pay the exorbitant costs for the few commercial flights out of Afghanistan.
For months, Human Rights First, its project Veterans for American Ideals, and a large coalition of immigration advocates, faith-based organizations and leaders, and veterans groups made it clear that an orderly and well-funded plan with close collaboration among different branches of the U.S. government was needed to keep our promises. The failure to evacuate our allies rests solely in the hands of the Biden administration, who ignored veterans and advocates, even when they offered detailed plans on how evacuation to U.S. territory could be managed.