My wife took matters into her own hands and told Sami she could live with our family for her senior year — assuming her mother consented and approved, which she did. In the spring of 2012, my family sat proudly with Sami’s family at the commencement ceremony and together celebrated the girls’ high school graduation. The following academic year Sami began attending college. 오늘, Sami lives in Colorado and works as a wound care specialist. She aspires to become a doctor.
As a four-term congressman in 2012, I have never written nor spoken publicly about this experience. While some friends, neighbors and a few people in the local Muslim community were aware of it, I do not believe I ever shared with my congressional colleagues that an Afghan refugee lived with my family for nearly a year. An elected official has a public and private life. Sometimes it’s difficult to separate the two. 이 경우, my family drew a bright line.
But I felt compelled to speak up now. While watching the horrifying images and human suffering from now Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in recent days, I thought a great deal about Sami, her family and so many others who have their own terrifying stories.
It pains me deeply that President Joe Biden made the reckless decision to withdraw precipitously from Afghanistan
. He essentially surrendered the country to the Taliban
, WHO, notwithstanding their phony public relations makeover promising
“no violence against women
” 그리고 blanket amnesty for all Afghans
, will almost certainly return their country to the dark ages with theocratic and medieval brutality
Whatever the problems and corruption of the now
-departed government of Ashraf Ghani
, the Taliban’s brutality will likely trample human rights
, abuse girls and women of all ages and reestablish a safe haven for jihadist terrorists
, while striking fear in the hearts of millions of Afghans who simply yearn for peace
, stability and modernity
The American people are understandably tired of a 20-year commitment to Afghanistan
. Americans from both parties supported Biden’s decision to withdraw all US troops by September
, according to polls
올해 초. But we could have left a small residual presence to support the Afghan military and protect the Afghan people while enhancing our own security interests
에 abandon the Bagram Air Base last month
, which provided vital air
, intelligence and logistical support to the Afghan Army
, is malpractice on a grand scale
. And for Biden to say the Afghans won’t fight for themselves demeans the sacrifice of the more than
65,000 Afghan soldiers who lost their lives fighting the Taliban and associated terror networks
Former CIA Director and US Army Gen
. David Petraeus said Tuesday on CNN that Afghans have taken casualties at a rate of
25 to one relative to the valiant sacrifice of American service men and women
. And in a recent co-authored op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal
, Trump’s former national security adviser Gen
. McMaster said not one American service member has lost his or her life in Afghanistan in the past
More to the point
, have we not learned any lessons from the ill-advised
, 2011 drawdown of American troops in Iraq
? By failing to leave a residual force of
10,000 troops to advise and support the Iraqi army
, the door was opened for ISIS to claim in barbaric fashion large swaths of Iraq and Syria
, necessitating an American re-entry into the region in
The world needs American leadership — and it is a better place because of it. With tens of thousands of troops in Europe, Japan and South Korea, was it too great a sacrifice to maintain a light military footprint along with our allies in Afghanistan to keep terrorists — and those who harbor them — on their heels?
The world bears witness to the unfolding events in Afghanistan at this very moment. If anybody wants to help Afghans in their moment of dire need, sign the CARE petition, calling for the safe exit of Afghans, especially women, who worked with the US over these two decades.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, let us reflect upon the extraordinary sacrifice of American military and civilian personnel and their contributions to the advancement of human freedom. I will forever remember my time spent on trips to visit America’s finest in Bagram, 수락, Kandahar, Helmand and the Arghandab River Valley. They sacrificed a great deal so that others might never experience the horrors of families like Sami’s.