Schneider Statement Following Briefings on Afghanistan

August 25, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTONCongressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) released the following statement following two classified, bipartisan briefings. The first briefing to the House Tuesday was led by Secretaries Blinken, Austin and Mayorkas, DNI Haines and Chair JCOS Milley. The briefing on Wednesday morning was delivered to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

 

“I appreciate the responsiveness of the Biden Administration to make those with senior-level responsibility for implementing our nation’s Afghanistan policy available to the House as a whole yesterday and members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee this morning. This morning’s briefing was very informative and I look forward to ongoing communications with the Committee in the weeks and months ahead.

 

“The world is witnessing an unfolding tragedy as the Taliban consolidates its authoritarian, repressive rule across Afghanistan. It is imperative that the United States preserves and expands its operational capabilities and capacities to evacuate all U.S. citizens and their families who desire to leave Afghanistan. We also must evacuate those who have supported our mission, both military and diplomatically, and other Afghans at risk because of who they are, what they believe, or what the Afghanistan they’d hoped to live in looked like. America must not leave Afghanistan until our mission is complete.

 

“Currently, the United States is conducting one of the largest air lifts in human history, having already evacuated more than 80,000 people from Afghanistan since August 14th, a pace that is only accelerating. Many constituents have reached out to my office to advocate on behalf of their family, friends, and loved ones still in Afghanistan. I am grateful that the Administration has provided direct channels for us to communicate the identities and status of all those seeking assistance in leaving the country.  I am pleased  to report that, to date, my office has been involved in helping secure the passage of evacuees through the airport in Kabul, and we will continue to advocate on behalf of every person needing our assistance.

 

“As our two decade mission in Afghanistan comes to a close, we must remember and honor the service and sacrifice of our military, as well as the diplomats and others who have served our nation in Afghanistan over the last 20 years. Everyone who nobly served must know that their sacrifice was not in vain. It is because of their service that the United States rooted terrorists out of the region, killed Osama bin Laden, and secured our borders from Al-Qaeda for 20 years. We all owe them, and their families, our sincerest gratitude.”

 

###