While working for the State Department, Dr. Bob served and lived at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and has a distinct perspective on the crisis in Afghanistan. He says the primary focus must be on the humanitarian needs of those in immediate danger.
NEGAUNEE, Mich. ━ As we all watch and read the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, the tragedy accompanied by our withdrawal is undeniable and unconscionable. We need to have our priorities straight when it comes to this highly chaotic and delicate situation. The main thing we need to focus on now is how to get people out safely and to prevent any more loss. We need to exit the country and remove people from harm.
I look forward to a comprehensive review of our 20-year history ━ militarily and diplomatically ━ in Afghanistan. We all would like to understand what went well and what didn’t; our failures and successes.
To improve our foreign policy, we need to constructively engage leaders in Congress, the military, current and past Republican and Democratic leaders in our executive branch, including the State Department and our intelligence agencies. In addition, we should hear from our international partners and the numerous brave people still present working for NGOs.
My prayers and thoughts are with the American military personnel serving our country in grave danger. I express my deepest condolences to the families, friends, and military colleagues of those killed in yesterday’s horrific terrorist attack. I extend my profound sympathies to the Afghan people who have suffered for decades and will suffer more under the Taliban, especially women and children.
We all must condemn the senseless acts of terrorism by the ISIS-K, which has claimed responsibility for the most recent attack.
The United States and the international community must stay diligently focused on the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, especially those who assisted us in our mission there. We must remain engaged in a meaningful way.
As the Taliban regains control of Afghanistan, I remain deeply concerned about the direction they will take the country and how those changes will affect the region and the world. It is clear there is a distinct possibility that Afghanistan will become a haven for extremists and cause further regional and global instability.
As Americans, we also need to decide how to develop a foreign policy based on moral and ethical grounds. If the Taliban’s Afghanistan continues to threaten the region or the world, we need to prepare our next action point. I am ready to be an informed and strategic member of Congress to help make these difficult decisions.
For the immediate future, we must focus exclusively on getting people away from the immediate danger.