August 15, 2021

Chairman Schiff Statement on Afghanistan

"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. 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.

“Our most imminent task is to assure the safe withdrawal of American troops, diplomatic personnel, and citizens. 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. That must be our focus in the days, weeks, and months to come. It won’t be easy, and I believe 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."