August 26, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released a statement from Senator King following a terrorist attack outside of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. In the statement, Senator King expressed his sorrow and anger at this “tragic waste of human life”, and continued his longstanding advocacy for action to protect the Afghan partners who served alongside American servicemembers over the last 20 years.
“Today’s cowardly attack in Kabul served no purpose other than a tragic waste of human life – including 13 U.S. servicemembers,” said Senator King. “The terrorists responsible for this heinous attack must be tracked down and brought to justice. I am praying for the fallen, the injured, and their families, as well as the brave servicemembers who continue to execute this noble mission.
“These attacks must not deter the United States and its allies from evacuating American citizens and at-risk Afghans. U.S. servicemembers are performing admirably under difficult circumstances, and the military is continuing to increase evacuations as the United States engages in the largest airlift in our nation’s history – but at the same time, it is clear that more must be done to save lives. In the days ahead, I will continue to remain in close contact with the Administration to urge a safe, speedy process that protects servicemembers and brings our at-risk partners to safety.”
In July, Senator King cosponsored the Afghan Allies Protection Act, which was signed into law last month, and joined a bipartisan group earlier this month urging the Biden Administration to fully and immediately implement the law. In a June column for the Military Times, Senator King cited that continued delays in the SIV process “very well be a death sentence for those who put their lives on the line to help the United States”, in addition to potentially discouraging future allies from working with American military efforts. He further highlighted America’s “moral and ethical obligation” to our Afghan partners during a June floor speech urging action.
In June, Senator King pressed a top Defense Department nominee in Senate testimony for his commitment to prioritize efforts to bring America’s Afghan partners to safety. In May, he joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues to urge President Joe Biden to streamline the SIV program for Afghan nationals who worked for or on behalf of the United States.