tv Discussion on a Taliban- Controlled Afghanistan CSPAN September 16, 2022 10:52pm-12:32am EDT
>> on monday, britton says goodbye to its longest-serving monarch as the state funeral for queen elizabeth ii is held at westminster abbey. you can watch the service live monday at 5:30 a.m. eastern on c-span, c-span now or online at c-span.org. ♪ mix of panelists analyze the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan one year after the taliban takeover. among the topics discussed, are the pros and cons update withdrawal. u.s. policy toward afghanistan and rebuilding the country after war. that should have introduced myself to begin with. my name is benjamin hopkins on the associate dean for academic affairs here the l.a. school. i also my spare time historian of modern afghanistan. this particular topic as near to my heart. we have an outstanding panel today that really does stand a
breadth of experience both professional and personal. we are going to hear some afghans themselves today who also have both policy and professional positions here in washington. as well as those working with afghan refugees here in the united states. as a historian, one of the things i was try to correct a great misunderstanding with my students is our interest is not in events but in processes. i will be talk about the fall of kabul a year ago, we are not so much talking about an event that is over but a process is still playing out yesterday marked the 21st anniversary of the 911 attack at which a month later led to the american invasion of afghanistan. just a month shy of 20 years after that invasion the u.s. withdrew from the country in ahd spectacularly symbolic and chaotic form. leading to the return to power of the taliban after a 20 year
period after the subsequent silence of the american political class and its seeming dis- interest of the american electorate, that withdrawal marked the end of neither the still ongoing global war on terror. or the suffering or the of the people of afghanistan. thousands of afghans remain in limbo around the world. waiting in camps for possible resettlement in w the u.s. or other western countries which may never come. millions in afghanistan are trapped by repressive regime whose interest and ability to govern our limited at best. their situation is compounded by the international community which has largely washed its proverbial hands of the issue. today's a panel including the voices of both afghans and those who have and continue to work with them, will provide insight into the ongoing process of the fall of kabul.
giving their experiences and professional insight. as well as considering still accumulate in cost of the war which most americans would like to forget. on today's panel we are joined by chris who unfortunately is not able to be here in person. chris we hope you are feeling better. but we are glad to have you here with us today. as the president and ceo of the lutheran immigration and refugee service. she proves they serve the obama white house is policy director for first lady michelle obama. at the state department senior advisor under secretary of state hillary clinton secretary of state john kerry. while in government she worked on multiple issues and programs including those concerning refugees and migration,ge engagement with religious communities the legal dimension of u.s. foreign policy and regional issues relating to africa the middle east. a graduate of yale university
from which bfc, ma and a jd. she was also a marshall scholar at oxford university where she received international relations. second we have to might left who is a program manager for outraged at the observer research foundation of america.s he previously worked as united states embassy in kabul for almost nine years where he served as an advisor on the u.s. afghanistan bilateral security agreement. and as an embassy liaison with the government of afghanistan. he played a key role in evacuating citizens, green card holders and more than 3000 locally employed staff and their families after the taliban takeover of kabul. an recognition of his services, the u.s. department of state presented him with aof here wism award. he previously served in various
capacities in the afghan government including work with independent election commission in 2010 and with the permanent mission of afghanistan to the united nations in new york. and finally, a former deputy minister for commerce and industry of the previous government of afghanistan. joins the george washington university community as the elliott school of international affairs professor of international affairs last january. has broad government experience including service as commissioner civil servicem reform commission and prior to that as human resources director of the municipality of kabul. she's country director top strategic communications firm of mobley group. giving a private sector experience. her expertise and international trade and commerce, government,
economic development human reform and strategic communication. i shouldtec also note both our fulbright alumni. each of our speakers will present for approximately ten -- 15 minutes of opening remarks. after which to the floor which i'm sure will be a robust and interesting conversation. so, why don't i turn over tour's speaker that joins us remotely. >> are wonderful. thank you so much. good morning everyone. it is really such a pleasure to remote in. i'm dealing with a kindergartner who has turned into a petri dish. everything she is expressed to i am. i'm nursing a cold and wanted to avoid getting anyone else sick. i present seo refugee service. also known as the irs. so for those of you who are not
familiar with our organization, it is the largest national nonprofit and refugees. we are headquartered in baltimore. a number of different settings i will tell you i love school it's always nice when i get a chance to come back to a more academic setting. we are able to participate in what next in foreign affairs figures series. it's really a wonderful opportunity to be able to participate in this one yearll after the fall of kabul and 8000 afghans. looking back it was clear the afghans withdrawal would cause a crisis. we urge the biden administration to put forth an evacuation plan
that would meet our obligations to the afghans we promise to protect. tragically such a plan -- i should say such a plan was obviously the right thing to do pretty would have provided the settlement's even communis with the opportunity to prepare for what was coming. we advocated for an evacuation model similar to what we had done in past wartime evacuations. including the vietnamese after the fall of saigon. it would have transported at risk afghans to state location. where cases could have been processed and entered the u.s. safely through a system. which led to august 15, 2021. it was a terrifying day in the african world, separating people
-- afghan world, separating people from their families and forcing them to flee with next to nothing. my colleagues will speak to that. like you, for many of us in the u.s., watching the taliban takeover in shark, the -- shock, the horrific images from the kabul airport will be seared in our memories forever. i am not a military expert, so i will not dive into the details of what should or should not have been done, but what i know is that the biden >> for their support. for their religion or sexual orientation is a target.
although that brought me to safety is that thousands of afghans and while there is still much more to do it was a whole historic society effort and one year later from where we are today there are still afghans who supported the us mission not to mention other vulnerable populations with women's rights activists. so this is where they firmly stand by to have a moral obligation and it is virtually impossible to evacuate but they do not do everything in
its power to give them that permanent status here in the us also remember men and women and children are risk not only because of the taliban and with the healthcare system they are at risk. we will continue to stand ready. over the past year to see an outline on —- enormous outpouring of support and it has been inspiring to see americans who have stood up and those who have given so much to us. so talking about afghan resettlement here at home but
how to lead the charge among the new afghan neighbors and with all the afghan resettlement efforts in from the headline so howard truth is from across the country it has been one of the most challenging and meaningful of our careers we knew this would not be easy. by four years with the prior trump administration with those offices and then to put that altogether. so afterwords but then the
then to spain to actually across the country with 13500 afghans and then asen americans for the affordable housing crunch. that so many have experienced across the country. access community resources and status first few steps to self-sufficiency with the financial literacy process and it does across the country so we know that our nation and with that resettlement infrastructure may have now seen across the country and then to involve afghan housing and where you are today and we have an office 100 percent of our staff are afghan. it has been an effort with
great tenacity and with that transformative power welcoming afghans to the us. and then to stand out exclusively for what is possible. so that said we must continue to work the state military and goals and afghan workers face language barriers withh hiring practices. and then for those who are doctors or lawyers or engineers by training because the professional certification and then at the same time the
with the business that wants to support in ways that you can contribute is simple. the one is the unification of families that we are separating because of the order of evacuation. and then to t move on with their life. and then to make the family's whole again. and then it's hard to bring them and then forced to live motions apart then this mission is fard from over providing afghans with testability if they were brought to the us in an orderly process. that carveout is temporary and insufficient and then working with members of congress for the passage of the afghan adjustment act. with those refugee advocates on —- advocates if those refugees had the opportunity
to apply for permanent residency after the first year. it would day for the unnecessary burden to the approach that is crumbling under the weight also a background process that takeswh years to complete. we believe the afghan adjustment act as a humanitarian imperative overwhelmingly bipartisan support and with our nation's reputation hanging in the balance we're making a full-court press to pass before there midterm elections and we are always looking for people to speak with senators and representatives.
of afghanistan and pay attention was happening in afghanistan i would like to put a story into context within the primary objective of the left us and afghanistan in the nineties to make sure the soviet union and that involvement along with western countries and their allies and with the national security objective in that region during the cold war that reflects involvement to bring
in money and weapons and jihadist greeting to a significant distraction of institutions that were established in that country for decades. and it led to the collapse of the government's. afghans fully jumped on board against the soviet union. but what happened right after and with the collapse of the soviet union and walked away leaving afghans on their own demise. and then needing to a civil war and a country and in those various factions and infighting and destruction.
so that was the us trying to achieve the objective and then tto say we don't have any interest during the 1990s. there are voices in washington dc and different capitals and others indicating it's important for the us to stay engaged but nobody listened the argument put forth as we are watching things from overseas. if anything happens we cantr shoot rockets from a neighboring country to dismantle from anything that i-letter was. and it did from the taliban regime to do some strakes. but did it succeed? it did not. as you all witnessed what happened with 9/11?
i would say was clearly a failure on the part of the decision-makers at the time they didn't see the threats that they should have seen. they thought they had the capability however when al qaeda attacks the us and so many people realize afghanistan is important. why would you do that? it's not fair for the system a for the people or for americans. it's not a night on —- right way to deal with the problem with the situation. if you see there's an issue or a problematic area, you need to deal with it and it's time. right after 2001, we see a massive involvement in the us, all of the administration different agencies.
different players involved to build a viable state in afghanistan. it was not a perfect approach but it was a positive constructive approach leads being on —- leading to afghanistan. roads were built, electricity came to houses and people started to realize they have the right to vote and to elect their leaders. they have the same the future. that there could be a positive future. i and other afghans are a result of us involvement during the past two decades of afghanistan. we are a direct achievement of that involvement despitete its failures and practical errors from the beginning in 2001
when it was held to bring all afghans back to establish and afghan government the request from the taliban were rejected to make a deal to make the taliban involved in that process. that was the first practical error. not on institutions of the government or the security institutions to be built. or to do a piecemeal approach every country is focused on a specific promise. not taking the afghan view on the ground into consideration speaking with the warlords or with the diaspora or the afghan diaspora and then to give that into their hands to make them make decisions. a significant faction andig the
infighting to undermine democracy. but at the same time there were significant achievements. then at the and with the wdecision to withdraw it could have been in a much better constructive way. there was an agreement with the afghan government. bilateral security agreement to outline how the us forces would withdraw. within three years all us forces were withdrawn and there is no need for the us , no need whatsoever but the only argument put forth is that we will utilize the withdrawalra to speak with the taliban and then there could be peace but that did not happen because of their hasty decisions doing things in a way with the timelines and
then they agree with the timeline and then the pressure to release those 5000 prisoners with no gains maybe just on the hopes and then withdrawal and then the collapse. so now what is the policy or the strategy? as far as ac on —- as i see it is the same policies of the nineties we will deal with the threats from afar we will kill every terrorist in afghanistan that's not possible it did notgo happen and then it will not happen now. that's not the nature of threats we have modernize systems and drones and surveillance systems that the nature of the threat is complex is underground
twnetworks this teenage you cannot do with that without having the resources on the ground to support the technology from afar and then it's not going on extremes and then just washing your hands off diplomatic approach to bring afghans on the table to make the piece promise work to have the government to allow the international community to be present from afghanistan. thank you. [applause] >> we will move to our final speaker. >> thank you professor.
thank you for being here and being present in this conversation. i just want to take a moment to offer everything she and her organization has done and those that have evacuated to the united states. but let me tell you many mornings a week of cautioning my presence iak had to make a decision to get into for the safety of myself and my family. i madet that decision at that point of time that i don't regret it now even after what is happening. most importantly i think i made that decision because they knew i had to keep my vote and continue to advocate
for the kids of afghanistan. i'm happy a made that decision but not a single day that i wake up and i question my presence here in the us and the future of my career and profession here. as grateful as i am for the safety of myself and my family and the greater meaningful opportunity that i have here, that i get to turn my experience into a class and i'm happy to see some of my students here in the audience. it has been a very meaningful experience for me. of all of those logistics the pressure the evacuation don't forget the human side of things of those 70 people who have been evacuated those like
me who question their presence here every morning and given the opportunity to enable be back in the blink of an eye. and then to guarantee my safety i would like to take that. but here are a couple of the things. sometimes the way my presence makes sense to me is civil disobedience. i said if i have a ticket tomorrow i will go back. and then to use that through expertise. and to have that type of impact the past 20 years and
cannot live the country out of the current misery. and what we all need to keepne in mind and then to talk about that and that will require group political solution and humanitarian and economic think reducing their case for humanitarian costs but didn't have to do anything to make the economy work to generate commercial activity so that people can have food on the table. in fact some of the tconversations we had the taliban seems to think putting food on the table is not their responsibility but the international community. given the nature how the group has been operating the past 20 years andks then to make sure
that institutions work and can deliver services to the public i didn't expect the taliban to take combo and then with those ideological tasks. and how the healthcare system would work. so these are very important questions that we tend to ask about afghanistan. with the 21st century citizens they don't deserve to live under a regime like that with the taliban. is that thinking in with everybody here? how often do we ask that question? and as such as the achievement
but to see a woman like me dealing with us presence in afghanistan. if anything my presence here feels like a reward. the very reason i wake up every morning and a question my being here. i do see myself as part of the process and with engagement and product of the sacrifices of my family and then to provide education despite the barriers. also but equally somebody who use those opportunities thaty were made available. uare the reward of us presence in afghanistan.
sit is important that we excel at some of the mistakes that were made in the past so right after 9/11 to create a government to take into account and with the voices of the afghans who knew their country way better than anyone else. so going forward for the taliban the biggest dilemma is the pd of the ideology. actually now it is their
biggest burden because that is something that serve them with their constituency to recruit soldiers and win the war. but now going forward, they will back off and to put together a more inclusive system of government to allow those aspects with the political opposition and the rivals to be a part of the system it makes it tough to deal with their foot soldiers or their constituency. on the other hand dealing with the postwar constituency. i say postwar because it is postwar for them the us is out now andnd they were victorious. it is a postwar scenario for them. they are dealingwa with the postwar constituency.
who have been educated and have use the opportunity provided to them. if our democracy more and more spaces were created for people to push back. for somebody who is not in the government i think i can tell you everybody was well aware and careful of how we engage t the public. is it a democracy? yes maybe it didn't measure that people have in the west that i feel those spaces for open debt and then some form.
what choice they have and then to read in the newspaper. thank you. >> during the past 20 years there was a significant presence of the western allies underground and intelligence and human resources andnd technological advancement which i believe is the primary reason for the current leaders in the united states are taking credit in the past 20
the capabilities of today are the capabilities of the 1990s with some advancements. and then the threat remains is still the same threat those seeking to harm the united states are still present and alive. they are still in that part of the region. that the president has stated in the remarks there is no longer a terrorist threat emanating from afghanistan and with those capabilities and any threat emanating from that region. how many years were you searching and trying to find this man? since 2001. and then trying to eliminate yemen those resources were existence and technological resources and human resources and pursuant and eventually he was killed in kabul.
that similar technological resources and institution are not pursuing every singlee terrorist in that region. there is not enough capability to do that. the 20 years involvement worked in preventing to make sure that the terrorists do not have the time to network or to have a base to try to plan and then conduct the strikes on the west. however now with lack of resources underground they are living in mansions, they have a base all over and openly moving around town. they are speaking and talking and they do understand the us is primarily relying on technologies so it is very easy tove go silent.
it's easy to plan and coordinate until the last moment. and the only waygu that threat could be eliminated is to have significant seven —- human resources on the ground. reliable partners underground to track these elements in kabul.ng the only way to do that is to have a diplomatic presence on the ground you can't have a diplomatic presence without that presence on the ground and then for the international community to bring all the
stakeholders together along with the taliban to agree on a government on a post settlement, the same government envisioned in the agreement to allow the us to leave. that is my recommendation. >> with a would like to ask the first question. and with the intelligence infrastructure i'm pretty sure they have a map of each street at this point.
but when he was started to negotiate with the taliban with that counterterrorism partners on the ground. because the problem is the people of terrorism. they have to see them for who they are. that by chance today just take over the country in a matter of a few weeks? they have connections not only in the region and they have to be seenas for who they are. and then to think of them as a rational actor and then to count onn them as a partner for counterterrorism and then to prove the incompetent but in
terms of governing the country. so on that violent expertise of the group and to rationalize the counterterrorism ally does not make sense. i think tha' is where the problem lies and what needs to be looked into more and more critically. because even the people who currently cannot justify the community it is the fact especially those present in dc
because i think they were responsible for pushing some of those w narratives that brought us to where we are the same that were dc-based continuing to push and rationalizing the taliban and then they continue to partner with theio americans and i think that is a great mistake so with political identity that can be traced back after the argentine and then they were fighting amongst themselves and then added this crisis the taliban was formed. in their religious ideologies
not so much as a political entity that during the negotiations in doha we turn them into a political party per se so in terms of the rank and file their reflective of the demographic and then to be educated and many of them were raised in refugee camps and pakistan across the board during the early years and after the soviets.
so for the media to pay attention ever with the media can do to help the coverage to get that attention back with their policies. so in the us embassy how do you think that could be achieved. >> thank you so much. and then the number of agencies for afghans so i think despite the fact us administration their priorityy is getting the us service
members out of the harms way was a very good approach that was positive in my perspective. but that process could have managed in aos way to serve afghans also. and then those sons and daughters serving in afghanistan who have had those family members maimed they were vested. to say that george washington university and those to be involved. and we are grateful for this attention despite the fact that it is focused and other areas of the world like ukraine in taiwan and other places and they are engaged to make sure that public has
and then to give pathway for permanent residence status and their credentials and the type of people and the allies who serve the west interest in afghanistan. and with different institutions in the same way we are doing here and then to talk about afghanistan and then we need to so let's get afghans involved
policy to be bipartisan and then to see the partisanship and how that process should be handled. and then to be upheld that indicated and i totally understand and support that policy decision that the only thing i word state is changing hands and they could have managed it well. so if they change in the process and then to take that responsibility to lead to the decision. >> and then a couple of points that i would add. first we saw 50000 volunteers specifically with the afghan response and those data points to highlight how engaged americans were one year ago but as a first mention the challenge is that there are issues that perhaps moved to the margins and that is important to push the public first that by conservative estimates hundreds of thousands of afghan allies and supporters but i just want to note that competitiveness cycle plays out so with those
continued refugees and forn what we have seen afghans and ukrainians - - and then enter that system but the afghans who comele to the us to that same program only about 8000 have been adjudicated through edge are dropping 96 percent meaning only 400 have been in the us. (-left-parenthesis actually. this is wherere critically important to f put this in the media with the american public and then to recognize even with then military withdrawal.
people can have more freedom in their own country? >> that is an amazing question. thank you. sometimes i don't even want to quality democracy. that is to western of a term. i think it's just the human nature of a way to live a free and dignified life. but the progress and something that i always like to speak about is the continued
e i think is everyone should have their individual definition of freedom. there were a lot of conversations when the americans were talking with the total ban. that's process. i earlier talked about these things. they used to call women like me urban afghan women. these were these were narratives of kids
spread out of d.c. essentially, the leverage we were pushing in terms of installing redline or concession lineth so our life would not be taken were raised from the process saying these concessions asked for or by one woman. real afghan woman. i just came out of d.c., this came out of a couple of americans. and then of course the government to our other allies had had their own capitals kind of like snowballed. some of these narratives were extremely damaging. to what we were trying to pursue back home it is a traditional
society, i agree. it has been affected by 50 years of conflict. when many children are vulnerable to the conflict. it has torn up with the fabric of our society. we have not had an institutional established. do you think it was easy for me to emerge out of nowhere and sit in a come that? no. he was a daily struggle. i used to tell mike parents that there was every afghan man. again, you see what i'm saying is that on a daily basis i have to push so many social boundaries in the workplace but i understood because for too long the country had gone through what had gone that there was an echo system, an echo system established that made it
easy to not demand freedom and rights. placing that? i think the progress people were demanding, people so the spaces that they could demand and even when the submerged a used to tell people people used to say a woman may not want to go to school and i used to tell them ok. but that also means we are not going to make physical opportunity available in that particular province because some other might want to go. right? so if one woman does not want to go to school, which is in unfortunate argument in itself. instead of pushing those opportunities to more and more rural women.
i think it's very complicated when it comes down to that. there were a lot of assessments that say democracy does not work for us. from what i have experienced in that country sitting across tables where the first time people challenged my authority, and didn't really see me as somebody deserving in that room but that coming to a place where i fought my way through it and by the end of it, i was the boss. now i am too used to being a boss i can't go back to it. i call it my stubborn hope for afghanistan. i think what keeps me basically held on to the hope, as difficult as it is is the fact that i saw it is possible. i believe that there. >> questions?
>> should i stand? i am a fellow here at elliott school. we are grateful to have you here with us. thank you for convening this panel. also i just want to thank our panelists or illuminating some of the problems. i get the, i would say the deeper and the reasons for what happened. it will probably take another decade to evite weight. the four other afghans students
and those across the world interested in that part of the world if you could make a comment on why it is important for the united states foreign policy or the world in general because it should be political in nature. also, if you could, on moving forward to deal with that, the same issues. >> i will not abuse my position as moderator. i will just make a comment, i started off my introduction by saying this is a war whose cost
continued to accumulate. it is the most expensive for in american history. it is unfair -- unpaid four. there were questions about data, some statistics we think about, 600,000 american troops over 20 years were stationed in afghanistan problems the shortest rotations for convent ever -- combat in american history. 22% of the american populace has been directly exposed. it is intentional that it remains foreign. remaining foreign, it can be forgotten. most of the american debt in afghanistan was not military u.s. personnel but was contractors. it was privatization of war because private enterprise and private pilots does not have the public accountability to it that would be something that we have
seen in past examples. just to say those kind of contextual points that reiterate what our panelists have said and also, to give a shout out to kr iish she could hurt organization have done and continue to do amazing work. in the post, the government, the u.s. government has fully partnered on as she continues to call out with the passage of an afghan act to bring refugees to the united states. there is a collective amnesia about afghanistan. if you say afghanistan policies, it's like having the a of the scarlet letter on your back. my apologies for abusing my position of chair and i will turn this over to our other esteemed colleagues. >> in order to say what's the
way forward, we discussed where things stand. where things stand is that the u.s. is trying with the hopes of getting the taliban to cooperate, the same promises that they had in the agreement that allowed the troops to withdraw your trying to find a way so that they can ensure the television are responsible counterterrorism partners. that is not going to happen for obvious reasons. or they send in terms of their homo-donda, the spec the fact that they stated in the document that they would cooperate which was the only one really u.s. to get up. now there is no incentive to cut off their brethren.
for the sake of the united states and for the sake of the people of afghanistan second, there is nobody to establish even if they say they're going to cooperate there is now way to establish a viable mechanism with a group which is in charge of the country, you do not have anybody on the ground to monitor that. we are attractive figure out a mechanism. how would you keep the group inside the country house accountable for something when you are not even present? you don't have anybody on your side to sell the other side of the table to discuss and keep them accountable to what they are going to promise. second, they did not fulfill the promise that they are going to negotiate with other afghans. if they are not committed and they are not fulfilling their commitment to speak with the
afghans, they just wanted to be part of the government, they want kids in school i do have other ethnic groups being represented. and have a safe where the country would move forward. when we have hope that there would be speaking in any sort of commitment they are going to have with the u.s. that's awkward to happen. as things stand as we have a government in kabul, a group of people acting as government in our country where nobody recognizes them. the whole world is not recognizing that group who is in charge of the country for the past year. there are millions of cans living in that country and thousands of others abroad with no future whatsoever. in a limbo where the whole world is sitting and looking at this
group and say we are not going to recognize this, ok? so what's the alternative? there are other afghans willing to fight that group, the resistance. if we are not going to support them either because we are not supporting conflict. i support that. don't support conflict. don't support those who fight the group. where you going to do? wigs by and just watch people, girls not go to school for a year, men, women not have access to medical resources? not have access to food, not have a future whatsoever? what is the alternative? people will say we don't have any incentive. we don't have any means to pressure the television to come negotiate at the table with other afghans. i would see you do. there are resources and means available to the u.s. to pressure travel ban in kabul to
come to the aid of other afghans. the only way you can have that is engaging afghans are outside the country there is a significant number of afghans, civil societies, young leaders, all leaders, hundreds and thousands of them already in the united states. engaged with a group of afghans and get their views on what could be the future for the country by engaging thing, but just engaging the people create leverage. because that is the status of the situation in afghanistan. one foreign governments start engaging afghanistan are broad doesn't matter how is the pilot they will come rushing, they will come running to our support of what is going on. you're going to make it to different places and that is the opening to make them negotiate,
agree on a political framework that so they can do to presented. they need the government is going to hold the national goals. thank you. >> i think we have time for one final question, a quick one. this gentleman upfront. >> if we can combine yours and the woman in the book. green put those two together. actually, so you have the microphone. now are that the microphone go? >> i just have one question. re-freeze it stimulated through
the, are there other international organizations and with the be allowed to be there is an as possible? be a long question. >> the gentleman upfront, if you can pass that. >> i teach poetics and my classroom, i was going to ask about how ukraine, ukrainian refugee crisis has affected the african refugee crisis any answers that already it has affected you give us the numbers. or wonder if you have further analysis as to why did -- for that is the case? why they are coming and at a much higher rate than afghan refugees despite the 20 year commitment made in afghanistan i can imagine some of the possible
answers and i would love to hear what you have to say about it. >> thank you. those are quite full questions but if i can give each of the panelists just a quick moment to respond. when we go in reverse order and start with you. >> if we haven't made you confused enough i just wanted to say that the case of of guinness and is a complicated case. i think the issue of political legitimacy is important. i started with saying this should be a political solution not economic and humanitarian alone by itself. the question of political legitimacy also remains weak at the problem to that is we are artificial construct. we are not a natural born state
and come megan no, in order to go into why that, you should take my class because there is a whole class on why we are able to see that is the state and by the challenge of political legitimacy had to be one that we were dealing with for a very long time. i think even today we are in the same point weather is a challenge or political legitimacy and what is the process to -- creating it. let's mention some of the ways to engage other afghans of the taliban and acknowledging all other aspects of the society. one tricky thing that has remained throughout that has remained throughout our history in f and a is whenever the question of logistical -- political legitimacy arises. i know this when i engage about the issue, i don't ask for the international community help.
because i was too deeply involved in it to understand that some of what we are suffering right now because of the policy choices of the international community. i'm trying to think more about what it is we should do on our part to try to find a solution for this problem that we encounter every 20 years or every other decade. i know that when it happened, we did not have political legitimacy. there was a vacuum of power and we tried to solve it by erecting a government supported by the americans. and now, if anything, i call for responsible engagement of the international community. i think the solution remains. that is supposed to be my concluding remarks on how we see the way forward.
the afghans themselves need to figure out the solution to political legitimacy. it has been haunting us for a very long time and we cannot outsource it to foreign patronage or whatever is being supported by the foreigners. that's what happened. the moment the americans started talking with the taliban, he lost his political legitimacy. it was defined by support of the u.s. to him. if we are going to have another international committee back to government, 10 years down the line, it will collapse again. this requires a more critical inward look by the afghans. and the international community should continue to play their role but in a very responsible way. the u.n. has not been an effective partner. i have a lot of issues with them and i think they should pack up and leave because they continue
to create further problems for the country. that's the other thing. i think everybody coming there should responsibly engage with trying to understand. i think the leaders are currently underground. i feel like i have lost the right and the agency to comment on the issue. there is resistance on the ground, women taking to the streets and men taking to the streets on a daily basis. on multiple occasions i have been asked. to come to the sort of sessions, which is important. and the class that i take here is my way of contributing. if anybody should be consulted, they should continue to push on the face of brutal violence they are facing by this draconian
regime. i will end it there. that's all from my side. i hope everybody was able to take something away from this session. >> i tend to differ about whether afghans have the capability. i think given where we are located, it's the curse of geography that afghanistan institutions, no matter what state of time in history you look at, it has been prone to collapse when foreign powers try to evolve for their own interest. we have no say whatsoever on that bigger game of chess being played among powerful players. that is why any period you see that lacks engagement, it
depends where afghanistan's situation is. like when we had four years of stability and suddenly we had a system that is stable and trying to move towards development. nobody pays attention, the foreign power is engaged on their own. however, the reverse of that happens in the 1990's. and we engage among themselves but afghans for six years suffer. and we are seeing a similar situation right now. a lack of international engagement which is negatively affecting afghanistan. changing what's happening underground against a group of extremist holding guns and ready to shoot at anybody disrespecting them or their
leader. those women on the streets, they are the future. for them to have a future, they want to support them. the only way that will happen is opening up the political pathway for them to have a say to be involved. what happened in 2001 is the u.s. led process with the stakeholders, trying to bring afghans together. it was very constructive. the only thing they said, a tactical error at the beginning. that should be fixed this time. maybe the u.n. could take the lead or the u.s. could take the lead. what is clear is that the countries in the region do not have the capability and do not have the will.
the chinese, they are only economic interest is what they take out of afghanistan. the iranians, it's a religious interest. the pakistanis want afghanistan to be a black hole. central countries want to do nothing. so unless a community takes the lead, nobody does anything in the region for the sake of afghanistan. only saviors are the west and the u.s., given an opportunity for the people of afghanistan to see a better life and they could do the same thing without the need to put u.s. service members underground in harm's way. just diplomatic resources trying to organize afghans to resolve the issue. >> the final word? >> let's contextualize this. we had 80,000 afghans resettled in the past year or so.
and compare that to 100,000 ukrainians that relocated in half of that time. why the difference? it is the question that actually -- afghans and advocates alike have asked the administration. only 6000 have been admitted to the u.s. through the special immigrant visa program. it is kind of the data i highlighted earlier. that is considered the quickest mechanism to procure short-term protection. but with afghans, we see a 96% denial rate. and i think that is in stark contrast to ukrainians where you see 50,000 ukrainians approved in just four months. one reason is that president
biden excepting 100,000 refugees was viewed as a commitment that needed to be met. the u.s. did not make a similar commitment with the evacuation. they have been other priorities in the administration's mind. that effort was secondary. a lot of critics would say, where is the equity in the system? even at the southern border, while we had 20,000 ukrainians admitted through the southern border, we had thousands of haitians that were violently returned to mexico. that, i think, raises the question of why the difference? the truth is, the broader principle has to be that america is a global humanitarian leader.
we should be able to walk and chew gum. that means having a robust asylum system at the southern border and a humanitarian emergency situation where all of those who fear for their lives are able to come. >> thank you. and thank you to the audience. we have gone slightly over and i think it is indicative of the interest in this topic and our speakers. each of our speakers has a public profile. you can follow them on twitter, you can take their classes which i strongly encourage for any of you students. and please join me in thanking our speakers for their insight today. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] former president dwight eisenhower and the u.s. capitals national statuary hall collection exploring the american stories watch american history tv saturdays on c-span2 and had a full schedule on your program guide or watch online
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