Washington, DC, - August 15, 2023 - Two years ago today, the Taliban overtook Kabul and completed its recapture of Afghanistan. That day - two weeks ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. and allied troops - marked the dramatic end to America’s longest war. It was also the beginning of an unprecedented, civilian-led effort to evacuate tens of thousands of Afghan allies to safety.
For Truman, the fall of Kabul was the start of an enormous undertaking to evacuate our Afghan allies to safety. It never should have come to this: prior to the fall of Kabul, the Truman Center had been one of only a handful of groups advocating for America’s Afghan allies to be included in the withdrawal plans. Days before August 15th, we knew those efforts had failed, and the focus shifted to evacuating as many Afghan allies to safety as possible.
As we reflect on the past two years, we know that the work to support our Afghan allies is far from complete. Truman National Security Project members continue to be leaders in this effort. The Evacuate Our Allies coalition, formed and led by multiple Truman members, continues work to ensure the resettlement in the United States of as many Afghan allies as possible. The Afghan Evac coalition, formed and led by Truman members, continues to advocate for ongoing and expanded relocations. Honor the Promise, formed and led by Truman members, focuses on supporting Afghan special operations partners to build the resiliency needed to thrive in the U.S. Many Truman members provide additional support to the relocation process through other means.
To aid all of these initiatives, it is imperative that Congress pass the Afghan Adjustment Act, which will help the tens of thousands of Afghans evacuated to the United States obtain long-term immigration status while expanding Special Immigrant Visa protections to many more of our vulnerable Afghan allies.
We continue to learn from the mistakes of the chaotic withdrawal from Kabul, in the hope of ensuring that future generations never face a similar fight. Truman members’ commitment to keep our promise to our Afghan allies remains steadfast, and is one of the reasons that the Truman community is so impactful.