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Blumenthal Statement on the U.S. Military Withdrawal From Afghanistan

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after the U.S. military officially withdrew all combat troops from Afghanistan:

Today, as the last U.S. combat troops depart Afghanistan, I am deeply grateful for their service and for the sacrifices of an entire generation of war veterans. My heart is with the families of thirteen heroic servicemembers killed last week. I am always thinking of the generation of war veterans who served in Afghanistan, including so many who stepped up again these last few weeks, leading the way in a Digital Dunkirk evacuating their Afghan friends and allies.

I am devastated for the tens of thousands of Afghan allies we are leaving behind: interpreters, drivers, and guides who risked their lives for our country; journalists and democracy advocates; women leaders. We have a moral obligation to our Afghan allies who face retribution and revenge from the Taliban for their cooperation with the United States. We cannot abandon them – we must continue fighting for them. I will continue pressing this administration to use every point of leverage to evacuating the many Afghans who are at grave risk.

There will be a time to analyze what went so terribly wrong and what mistakes were made in the last years, months, and weeks that led to this humanitarian crisis. I will insist on clear-eyed analysis and accountability.

I am so proud to welcome some of our Afghan allies to Connecticut, and I stand ready to help our federal agencies and refugee resettlement organizations ensure that these families have the resources they need to help build their new lives here in the United States.

Earlier today, Blumenthal joined leading refugee resettlement organizations in Connecticut – including Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI), Danbury Area Refugee Assistance (DARA), and the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (CIRC) – to urge the Biden administration to complete the work of evacuating Americans and Afghans allies, and to discuss the urgent need for assistance for those fleeing Afghanistan.

Blumenthal authored an op-ed in the Connecticut Post earlier this month calling for additional support for Afghan refugees. He has been a longtime advocate for the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program and joined a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration to create a humanitarian parole category specifically for women leaders, activists, human rights defenders, parliamentarians, journalists, and members of the Female Tactical Platoon of the Afghan Special Security Forces who may be threatened under Taliban rule.