On Monday, a group of nearly four dozen veteran organizations requested a meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss the evacuation of U.S. partners in Afghanistan and “fulfilling our commitment to our Afghan allies.”
“Failing to meet our obligations to these Afghans would not only be a national security risk—harming America’s reputation abroad and eroding the trust in our armed forces that is critical for future operations—it would also condemn veterans and survivors of the conflict in Afghanistan to a lifetime of moral injury,” the group wrote in their letter to Biden.
Forty-five organizations signed a letter to Biden, urging him to agree to a virtual meeting. The coalition wants to ensure there is a comprehensive plan to get all citizens and allies out of the country and say they want to assist in every way possible. In addition, the group wants Biden to ensure that all allies are granted emergency status to enter the United States and have access to resettlement benefits.
The Taliban seized the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Aug. 15 as the Afghan government collapsed and top government officials fled the country, prompting a frenzied evacuation of U.S. diplomats, citizens, and allies from the country.
After the closure of Bagram Airbase and withdrawal of all U.S. military troops, Biden was forced to deploy 6,000 troops to help secure the Kabul airport as thousands of Afghans flooded the airport to flee Taliban rule. Biden has faced sharp bipartisan criticism for his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Many, including veteran groups, have urged Biden to spare no resources to evacuate U.S. citizens and allies who supported the United States’ effort in Afghanistan. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Biden’s top administration officials have reached out to the organizers of the letter and will meet with the coalition.
By Masooma Haq
Military Families and Veterans Letter to Biden on Afghan Allies PDF20210823-Mil_Vet_Fam-Letter-to-POTUS-Req-Mtg-re_-Afghan-Allies