‘The U.S. Must Take Every Step:’ N.H. Politicians React To Taliban Takeover Of Afghanistan
Members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation are expressing shock after Kabul fell to the Taliban after the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
The delegation, all Democrats, shared concern for Afghans who assisted the United States remaining in the country, in addition to women and girls at risk.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday she was “monitoring the grave developments in Afghanistan.”
I’m monitoring the grave developments in Afghanistan. The U.S. must take every step to protect U.S. personnel & save our Afghan partners. It must be made clear to the Taliban that a return to violence and oppression will be met with fierce rebuke from the international community.— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) August 15, 2021
In a series of tweets, Rep. Chris Pappas wrote, in part, “our first priority must be the immediate evacuation of U.S. citizens, [Special Immigrant Visa] applicants, and our allies who stood beside us and whose lives are now in danger.”
There will be time to re-examine foreign policy failures over two decades that shaped today’s events. But now we must do all we can to ensure the safe return of Americans and our partners and honor the service of all those who deployed to Afghanistan and their families. 2/2— Rep. Chris Pappas (@RepChrisPappas) August 15, 2021
In a statement, Sen. Maggie Hassan emphasized the danger faced by women and girls in the country and criticized the “precipitous withdrawal.” Sen. Hassan also called for an inquiry into “intelligence failures that led to underestimating the ease and speed of the Taliban’s advancement.”
Rep. Annie Kuster made similar remarks, calling on the American government to “take strategic steps to ensure the region does not return to a haven for terrorists, and that all Afghan citizens — especially women and girls — are safe from violence, persecution, and brutal treatment from the Taliban.
Gov. Chris Sununu said he would support efforts to help Afghans who are in danger.
"New Hampshire has a long history of supporting individuals seeking political asylum through the State Department – including individuals from Afghanistan in years past – and those who helped the United States in Afghanistan and are now in grave danger should be helped," he said in a statement to NHPR.
As of Monday morning, Taliban fighters had entered the presidential palace in Kabul after President Ashraf Ghani fled the capital city. Reuters reported that multiple people were killed at Hamid Karzai International Airport as fear and uncertainty spread through the area after the Taliban entered the city.