U.S. Representative Rick Larsen who represents Washington’s 2nd District released a statement on Aug. 24 regarding the current situation in Afghanistan. The senior member of the House Armed Services Committee was calling on the Biden administration to extend the August 31st deadline of complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“While the administration could and should have done more to evacuate U.S. citizens, Afghan civilians and NATO allies and partners from Afghanistan in a timely manner, the present crisis is the result of 20 years of stalled policymaking across four different administrations,” said Larsen. “As a senior member of the House Armed Service Committee, I expect Congress to press the administration to extend the timeline of withdrawal and continue to evacuate people from Afghanistan. The U.S. must show its allies and partners it will continue to stand with them.”
Since August 14, out of 70,000 people evacuated, over 5,100 of them have been U.S. citizens according to White House Press Secretary, Gen Psaki. Locally, over 230 Afghan nationals have been relocated to Washington State, while over 1,200 are expected to arrive in the coming months.
Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers was another local figure to speak out on the events in Afghanistan. “Snohomish County has a long history of being a community that welcomes and supports refugees who resettle here, not only in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families but also as an opportunity to exercise their freedoms,” said Somers. The County Executive has directed his staff to work closely with local organizations including Refugee and Immigrant Services NW to assist in providing the much-needed resources for the refugees.
In addition to the statements made by Dave Somers and Rick Larson, the Snohomish County Leadership spoke on welcoming the new residents of Snohomish County with open arms. “We encourage all residents of Snohomish County to welcome Afghan refugees into our community and to volunteer their time and resources.”
As of today (Aug. 27, 2021), there are approximately 500 American citizens that the U.S. State Department is currently working with who want to leave and are directly coordinating with them to facilitate their evacuations, according to the State Department Spokesperson.
Following the attack in Kabul that killed 13 U.S. troops and 60 Afghans, President Biden’s National Security Team informed him this morning that “another terror attack in Kabul is likely,” according to a white house official. The official went further by adding that the next few days of this mission will be the most dangerous period to date. Pentagon spokesman, John Kerby said that they are prepared and would expect future attempts.
This situation is ongoing and we will do our best to update you as we learn more.