tv Sen. Shaheen and Others Discuss Visas for Afghan Allies CSPAN July 16, 2021 2:31pm-3:35pm EDT
million would have had black people lifted from the living wage, 62% of people would have been helped. and in west virginia alone, over 350,000 people less than a living wage. so he voted against his own constituency, so 900,000 people in west virginia who are poor, the majority happened to be white. now you have him and kyrsten sinema, and there may >> want all of this segment online. we leave this discussion and take you a gush take you a discussion about giving visas to afghan allies. >> thank you all for joining us today. today's discussion is visas for afghan partners. what does the united states always afghan allies? -- always -- owe its alice?
-- afghan allies? those who work closely with the intelligence community's are going to be at heightened risk to taliban attack going. there are easily tens of thousands of afghans who have aided the u.s. over the last 20 years not just in military operations but the element of diplomatic committees. most of these afghans have families. what obligation to be have these people? i would argue we have a major obligation to these afghans and other families. there has been significant effort to streamline the immigrant visa process for our afghan partners who worked with the u.s. attorney. that is part of the committee we have an obligation to.
there are likely to be many other actions that may be needed. there are many other questions such as what does it take so long to process one of these special immigrant visas? when or where might an immigration process take place? what other options exist outside of the process? let's jump right into our conversation. i want to welcome our panelists. we have senator jeanne shaheen, chair of the senate subcommittee on foreign corporation and she has been a consistent leader on these issues. thank you for being with us. we also have ambassador earl anthony wayne who is a former deputy investor senior advisor and a conscience on afghanistan with us here.
i am grateful to ambassador janice jacobs was a former secretary of state for consular affairs to give better perspective on visa processing. i'm also really grateful to investor ryan crocker's and an advisor to an organization called no one left behind. finally i am very green to have the director of public policy for the lutheran immigration and refugee service. she focuses on immigration advocacy and has a lot of updated information on the situation in afghanistan and is going to bring a lot of really relevant information.
i want to remind our online viewers that this is an interactive event. i invite all of our participants to submit questions. please go to the webpage and click on the ask live questions button. let me start with you, ambassador. what is the challenge we are currently facing in afghanistan? >> the big question is how do you move out of the war and still maintain credibility and have a good outcome? a number of things today are about outcomes. when the announcement was made u.s. future going to leave --
that u.s. troops were going to leave, it was also announced -- many foresaw and it has many people worried in afghanistan but it also reflects the fact that afghan morel sunk very quickly in a number of security units and it had set off large numbers of people moving across afghanistan. the u.n. estimates almost 300,000 afghan have been internally displaced since january of this year. what we are going to look at today in detail is what responsibility do we have towards the afghans that worked with us in the military but also with the state department? i'm sure we are going to touch
upon the issues of what responsibilities do we have vis-a-vis those afghans who believed in us and believed in the values we were talking about and of the objectives we were setting. women activists for democracy, the people who maintained a free press in afghanistan that stands out in that part of the world, and many others. all of this does get back to u.s. credibility. there may not be an easy way to leave a war situation but it's much better if you read with credibility intact. we've mentioned three big challenges as we go ahead. one is in the media, what are we going to do to bring people out who are really in danger? second, other things we can do to help rally morale in kabul
and other places who really don't agree with the taliban and dempsey a future in afghanistan ruled by the taliban with many of the same practices they used when they enrolled in the 1990's. third, related to that, what can you do or what should you be doing to have contingency plans for the future? a u.s. objective still needs to be a piece in afghanistan that reflects the diversity of its people that can ideally bring elements from the taliban forces that make up the government. different parts of the country, women, pro-democracy advocates and others all living together peacefully within a framework.
so we are going to grapple with some of these problems today. it's bigger than we can talk about but there are important things we can do for thousands of afghans that we know are in danger because they work with us very closely. >> senator, you have been very active and vocal on visas in afghanistan and you have an vocal on capitol hill. can you walk us through your thoughts on how to proceed? jeanne: yes, and as master wayne says, is about the credibility of the united states and what we should do from the humanitarian perspective to make sure the people who we promised to help out are not slaughtered by the talent him at the taliban expands their influence throughout afghanistan. i started working on this issue over 10 years ago with john
mccain because as far back as 2010, we knew we had a problem with the siv process. it was cumbersome and difficult. the paperwork was challenging for many afghans. i have been working on it ever since and john mccain felt it was one of his legs, that we needed to make sure that those people who helped american troops not wind up being killed because of that help. when we look at the challenges we are facing as america is almost out of afghanistan it is that we have thousands of afghans who have helped us who would like to get out of the country because they are threatened. when president biden announced he would be withdrawing troops,
we had thousands of applicants in the queue. we know that there are more than that number as we think about their families and the other people who have come forward since the announcement of america's withdrawal. we have legislation in both the house and senate. my bill in the senate has bipartisan support and i am pleased to see the amount of bipartisan support for this effort. there is similar effort in the house. our legislation will increase the number of applicants from 8000 to 20,000. it also changes the process that makes it easier to get the paperwork. we reduce the amount of time it takes to help americans from two years down to one. we also change the medical exam, which is often a real difficulty
. and because it takes a long time to get the other paperwork processed, they get that done and they need to get on the medical exam. -- to get another medical exam. we announced at the state department was going to be heading up an effort to make sure afghans to get to a third country while they wait for their applications to be processed. but i think this is an all hands on deck moment where we have got to do everything we can to ensure that those people who were depending on the united states know that we are still there in support of the sacrifices they made to help us. >> thank you, senator. could you tell us what is operation ally refuge in a better understanding of the
situation -- and a better understanding of the situation? >> yes. thank you for this panel and a discussion on a topic that is incredibly urgent for afghan lines. immigration and refugee services has been offered for almost 80 years we have played a major role in resettling over 9000 afghan allies and we also advocate for their rights and improvements. we have been working very closely in coalition with our nongovernmental arms, the international refugee assistance project, and the organization of wartime allies as well as congressional champions to call on the tradition to evacuate those 18,000 afghan allies who have already applied for the special immigrant visa.
the biden administration finally announced on wednesday, just this wednesday, i plan called operation allies refuge to evacuate certain afghan applicants and others who may be particularly vulnerable. we have learned that evacuation flights are to begin last week of july. the state department is to charter commercial as opposed to using military aircraft. with respect to leadership, the former head of the national counterterrorism center is coordinating the interagency policy process. location destinations are still in flux but ambassador tracy jacobson is leading the state department ordination unit, lending credence to the earlier report that central asian companies maybe one of the
destinations. with respect to actual investigations, we do not know how many of the pipeline and how many thousands of family lives will be saved by commission or where they will go. we are also deeply concerned about how people outside of kabul you can access. we are seeing reports that the additional number of afghans who may be evacuated and other reports stating the administration would not publicly release information on destinations. we have also seen varying reports about locations of activations, whether some would be brought to the united states or other territories. on july, it was a leak from the
white house indicating they were considering three central asian companies. but we have not seen any evidence the countries have actually consented to receive evacuees. the pentagon press secretary said in a briefing that all options are being considered and that would include the potential for short-term use of u.s. installations. from our perspectives, location matters greatly and we advocate it should be u.s. soil to ensure the safety and rights of applicants. this plan is a vital first step in honoring the promise afghan allies but it is scarce in essential details. we are left with more questions than answers. we understand the sensitivity of military operations but these outstanding questions seem
distant from the u.s. security considerations. we hope the ministration will recognize the needs and release further details as soon as possible. >> thank you very much. ambassador jacobs, thank you for being here. can you tell us what the process is like and why is it so challenging? >> thank you. and i want to thank all of the distinguished participants in today's panel. everyone is bringing so much dedication and expertise on the subject. and let me say there is not anyone involved in the process that does not strongly leave we don't owe the atkins who helped us. certainly a widespread commitment to trying to do that.
this is a complicated visa process. since the program was established in 2009, we have issued over 20,000 f ivs and still have a long way to go. it is cap a kid in part because of legislation and requirements they doubt their but also because of some of the cookies involved for the afghans themselves and trying to meet the criteria and gather the required commands. this has been a challenge especially those who worked for the military. oftentimes, supervisors are no longer active members of the military and it is hard to track them down. it is hard to get proof of employment or recommendations. there is a list of documents required but basically the process is that you have to show
that you have worked either for the u.s. government or for the international forces. after september 15 it is a two-year employment requirement, before that one year. you have to have a letter of recommendation. you go through a mission approval process. there is a committee within the state department that gets together to look at required documentation and send that to an embassy in kabul with a recommendation for approval. once that approval is received, the applicant has to file a petition with the u.s. citizenship and immigration services. there are more documentation requirements for that. eventually, once all the paperwork is in order, someone can set up an appointment for a visa interview.
that takes place and then there is called -- what is called administrative processing. i have to tell you that that right now and historically has been the longest delay in processing these applications. that is a security review by different agencies in washington to make sure that the applicant presents no threat to the united states. once that is done and the applicant is approved they go ahead with the medical. the senator has explained certain elements to streamline this. certainly skipping the medical make sense that they don't have to do that more than once, but it is a complicated process and it can be difficult for people to especially get all of the required documentation.
the other challenge right now is we have a pandemic and the sections around the world were close for over one year so not much if any processing took place. i will say that kabul is now trying very hard to process as many visas as they can. unfortunately, they still had covid issues. they had to shut down not too long ago because there was a covid infection within the embassy. it is a complicated process. i think anyone involved in it will admit to that and it can get delayed at any one of those steps along the way. let me say quickly, the latest effort to try to evacuate. the pipeline has roughly 18,000 people in it right now but that
pipeline is never really going to diminish because you can apply for this up until december of 2022 so the pipeline is always going to be constantly filled as it is emptied out. the numbers yes are significant and we need to pay attention to that but one should not believe that once we address 18,000 people and their family members that it is over. this will continue until 2022. as far as taking applicants to a third country, and i suspect there are negotiations taking place, ambassador tracy jacobson is the perfect person to be leading this effort because she has a lot of experience in central asia. for any country that agrees to take on at least a certain number of afghan applicants,
normally they are going to want a guarantee that visas will be issued. that if they let thousands of people in, these people are not staying. they probably want guarantees on how long they are staying and wants to know they are all getting visas. we can never guarantee an advance that some will get a visa. so there will be people, as there are now, that will be denied because they did not meet one of the requirements that has been established. let me add that bring applicants into the u.s. presents a huge issue for the state department because it could present challenges to the non-review ability doctrine that is currently in place.
when decisions on visas are made overseas, denials cannot be challenged in u.s. courts. once on u.s. soil, denials can be and probably really taken into u.s. courts. that is a serious concern state department non-review ability has been carefully protected and there are reasons for that to stay in place. those are some of the challenges. deciding who will actually be evacuated, which family members will be able to accompany the principal acumen's -- occupants. getting the word out into areas of afghanistan, all of these are special challenges and white house is talking about moving people by the end of this month.
so i expect others working on this are getting very little sleep because it is a challenge but i know that the white house is committed to helping folks who have helped us and i can tell you the people involved from a consular and visa perspective also shared that commitment. one last thing is certainly the state department is going to be asked to put additional officers onto this task. consular affairs is defunded and unfortunately during the pandemic, especially with the halt in visa operations, revenue for consular affairs really dried up. there are some financial issues because you may have also seen in the news that the state department is being pressured to
shorten the wait times for u.s. passport. so there are only a certain number of resources to go around. i know the state department will certainly put as many sources -- resources as they can on processing for keep in mind there are some challenges there as well. >> thank you for being here. when we talk about the afghans, is that the totality of folks we need to be worried about? >> thank you and i would like to thank senator shaheen for her extraordinary efforts to look after the people who look after us. we are facing a lot of challenges as michael is pointed out. well, we would be facing a lot
more were not for her steadfast dedication to fixing this problem, and a lot of fixes are clearly needed. but you, senator -- but thank you senator. i would say it is a front situation we face right now. we have those 18,000 and as we seek to move them out through a plan that clearly is being put together as it is implemented, none of this is going to be easy. one of the key concerns i think all of us would have is that frankly, agency has now passed to the taliban. we are effectively out of afghanistan and we are seeing with the taliban is doing. taking crossing points district centers. they are on the move. anything we do on evacuation is
going to require taliban consent we will not be there to secure the airport. afghan national security forces i'm sure be part of the foot given the demoralization our process has inflicted, i'm not sure how steady they are going to be. the turks have said they would send forces in to secure the airport in the towel that publicly warned them not to do it. so with all the other complications we are looking at, we have got to bear in mind that we gave a usc on this matter and anything else related to a few, let's face it. it is kind up to the town and that is a bad place to be. to the broader question, i think it is crucial that we find a way
to do the right thing. we have a moral obligation here. not even just our own national security. it is truly global happens in on impact elsewhere. the world is watching to see what we do. we will be in future conflicts, those conflicts will be them messy, -- will be the kind of messy complex things we have seen in afghanistan and we will need translators to translate not just languages, but cultures. the foreign service nationals around the world have done that. we could not function without them. in the military is not learning them. that is a good thing, if we do the right thing. after this afghan experience, if
we are seeing to be unwilling or ineffective or both and people die because of that, there will not be a long line of folks willing to work for us in other places of conflict and of urgent security needs. so, this is just the beginning of a long, hard -- to make the right decisions, to do the right thing, and to make sure we get these people safely out. it is an all hands on deck moment. it has to be a priority. thank you. >> i want to give you a chance to react to things put on the table, senator, then i will take questions from the audience. i know you have to leave early, so i want to give you time to react to what you heard, then give you a chance to answer some
questions. sen. shaheen: well, i think everybody from slightly different perspectives has laid out the challenge, and eye very much appreciate mr. carper's -- mr. crocker's nice words . and getting people out of afghanistan, we've got to look at what we can do now to streamline the process, to ensure that we can get those out who are most at risk. i cannot remember who said it, that one of the challenges also is while kabul has some security, although not a whole lot, but certainly people who are in many of the provinces around the country are even more at risk than those in kabul, at
risk of being able to get someplace where they can be evacuated out of the country, if they're applicants who make the cut. so, we have also got to bear that in mind. as the ambassador said, to some extent the taliban will have to be willing to let this happen. we do have turkish forces that are guarding the airport in kabul, but we know the taliban can pose a threat to all of the operations we might continue to have in afghanistan. so, thinking about how we can actually execute the movement of people outside of the country to a third country is going to be critical, then how we protect them in a third country for a period until their application is processed is another challenge.
daniel: i want to get the several questions posed, and i want to take advantage of your presence. one is from bill sweeney, affiliated here, a retired -- of isis. what congressional actions are necessary in the next few weeks to facilitate the safe passage for as many afghans who worked for the u.s. in the next few weeks? that is a question for you, senator shaheen. and this is from angela preston. how many afghans that get visas will be girls and women, given they are half of the population? and another question from my friend, annie, a former service officer. refugee status is a huge step, plus a brain drain, how can the u.s. government find temporary options for human rights defenders who want to stay, with knowledge that they can leave if threatened?
maybe that is a question for ambassador jacobs and jill to take on. senator, i do not expect you to take on all three questions, but i want to give you the chance to react to any of those. and i want the rest of the panel to take on those questions. but senator, you take the first step. sen. shaheen: with respect to congressional action, i think we are in a place where we have the potential for congress to act before the august recess. we are working on the national defense bill, which will be marked up next week. there will be a provision in that to address siv's. we expect a separate provision to be on the table in another bill. the house has passed out of the relevant committee their bill that has many of the things i talked about, a lower number in terms of applicants, but certainly an expedited process that should help us. we also need to provide the
funding. so, i'm cautiously optimistic that there is strong bipartisan support and a sense of urgency about the need to get this done and to provide the funding and make sure we can expedite the current legislation to make it address this crisis situation. i want to also speak to the situation for afghan women and girls, because the point being raised, how many of these siv's are women and girls is a disproportionately low number, because most of the folks that helped our military, interpreters, logistics people, those people who have been covered historically under the process, have been heavily weighted towards men. and yet, my biggest fear in addition to how we will help those people who helped us, is what will happen to the women and girls there, because we know what the taliban's position is
and we know where they have control of the provinces, they have already put back in place a very restrictive laws that make it difficult, that do not allow girls to go to school, that do not allow women to work, freedom of movement for women -- this is a huge issue and is something the u.s. must continue to speak out loud and clear about. and we need to continue to do everything we can to support efforts to help women and girls in afghanistan. daniel: i also want you to hear one other question. i'm not asking you to respond, by am hoping to hear from other panelists. this is from the daughter of an applicant. my question is, we all know the process is broken and they have denied lots of people who were faithful to working with the u.s., i am interpreting this,
including my father. so what will be the future of those who have missing documents because they cannot find their supervisors, are we just going to leave those folks behind? i'm not asking you senator to answer the question, but what about ambassador jacobs or jill, could you take that question while we have the senator listening, just on that specific question? jill: i will take a stab at it, then i will let -- add what she has. yes, people have been denied. normally because they are missing documentation or the security check turned up something unexpected. for those that have been denied, there is an appeal process, not to those who have been denied for security reasons, but in the beginning stages. they can appeal the beginning stages of the process, and at
that time they are able to present missing documentation or other evidence that meets the requirements if they are able to do so. but this is something that, as i mentioned earlier, is going to happen with all of those people from the pipeline. the a vast majority will be issued, eventually, but there will be those who are denied. and that is sort of the nature of the visa process. and, jill, i do not know if you have anything to add. jill: i would add we are aware of the denial rate because of the systemic issues with the process, so that is why we are advocating for evacuation to guam or u.s. territory, where individuals would be able to access other forms of protection, if their cases are denied. and they would be able to access the legal counsel to help them through the application process.
those who are represented and have legal counsel, or assistance with their application, have a much greater application approval rate. so that is why we are calling on the evacuation to a place, not only of safety, but would also respect the rights of the individual applicants. and i would also say with respect to other vulnerable populations, such -- there are many afghans fleeing violence and persecution, and those who do not qualify for siv or other afghan refugees and family members in the united states are engraved danger following the withdrawal. we are one of many members of the refugee council usa, which recently urged the administration to expedite additional pathways, such as utilizing the u.s. refugee
resettlement, family reunification, an humanitarian programsd to ensure that afghans are not left behind. for example, we have asked that the administration consider humanitarian parole pursuant to -- and would allow admission of afghans for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. dhs should also establish of these parole programs for groups at risk, such as activists, journalists, humanitarian workers and at risk women and children commit to give them expedited access and processing. daniel: sender, do you want to react? sen. shaheen: no, just to agree with jill. i think it is important to look at other ways to help those people who may not qualify under the siv process, but who are in danger because they worked with
us in other capacities. again, to reiterate, this is a real crisis situation so we have to be creative about how we address it. and recognize that the bureaucracy may have originally been set up because of certain circumstances, but this is the situation now and we have to look for ways to make the bureaucracy work to help those in danger. daniel: let me add one more question, then i will bring in ambassador crocker, wayne and jacobs. the focus on siv's has been on processing those who are on humanitarian parole, from a former refugee coordinator in bangkok between 1980-1983. so, ambassador wayne, let me give you a chance to come in and react to any question, including the last one. ambassador wayne: thank you, dan.
and thank you to the senator. and jill, thank you to all you are doing, you and your colleagues. and to ryan, who has been a voice of reason on afghanistan for a long time. i think -- maybe i will give one experience. this morning, i happened to talk to an afghan woman in afghanistan that runs a program for young women to provide them an education. and she said, basically, we are all concerned about the future. it's a very emotional time. we hear what the taliban are doing, going back to their old practices, they are burning schools and books, they are making girls and women -- they cannot come out unless they are covered. on the other hand, we do not want the taliban to win, we want to stay and do all we can to preserve the afghanistan we have
and make it better. so, her bottom line was, basically, please prepare ways that if worse comes to worse, you can help us, but right now give us what we need to sustain ourselves also. so be supportive of us where we are, be prepared to help if we need that extra help in the future. but we want to keep afghanistan that we know now, of diversity, of more rights for children and women, because all of us who are the leaders now, we cannot take all the kids with us, all the girls. so we have to care for them. daniel:, ambassador crocker -- now, ambassador crocker and ambassador jacobs. ambassador crocker: i would add my own voice into the issue of afghan women and girls. that was a very early part of our efforts in afghanistan.
we had our first girls' s chools up and running into thousand two. then chairman biden came to visit. he referred to that visit last week. is that part of the nationbuilding he believes we should not be doing -- because he made the education of girls a priority. when i got to afghanistan the first time, all the students were boys. when i left afghanistan the last time as ambassador in 2012, we were talking about 8 million students, 45% of them girls. now what? they have stepped forward. we said, you can step forward in business, education, and the military -- we have your back.
except that was then, this is now. and oh my goodness, we have to be going. so in addition to the obligation we've had, and good to have for those folks who have served us, i believe we have an obligation to again -- to the females -- who are ready to ship afghan society, we are not walking out on them. and the consequences, as we have heard, will not be pretty. the taliban have been clear on what they will do, not in statements, but in actions. so, it's pretty tough to figure out what the meaningful action is, if you have given up your leverage, which we pretty much have. but we need to be in overdrive, as the senator suggested commit to figure out what we can do to protect and save those who helped us, but also those who
envision a different society in afghanistan because our presence and commitment. we have to figure out what is next, and what is next definitely cannot be --. daniel: ambassador jacobs, i would love to bring you into this. ambassador jacobs: from the last set of comments, it sounds like there are a good number of people who do not want to leave afghanistan, who want to stay there and create the society they envisioned that is more diverse and certainly with more freedoms for women and girls. for the options for leaving, we have the siv process and we have heard about how complicated that is. other options might be, this depends on a permissive environment and an airport that
is open, you could establish an in country refugee program, if the taliban does wind up being in charge that could be difficult. but it is an option for identifying people who are being persecuted and need to leave the country. joe mentioned -- jill mentioned a humanitarian pull. that could be another option under the authority of the -- under the department of homeland security. traditionally, communitarian parole has not been -- humanitarian parole has not been used to move large groups of people. it is usually used sparingly, but that does not mean it could not be used in this particular instance to help women and girls in particular, who may not be part of the siv program. so there are options, but what i am hearing today is what can the
u.s. do to help those who want to stay, but to continue to improve afghan society and be more inclusive and certainly continue with rights for women and girls. that i do not have an answer for. i do not know if anybody else has comments on that. daniel: jill? >> i want to add something about the concept of choice, because during the president's remarks on the afghanistan wind down, he repeated what we believe to be a false claim, that half of the afghans issued siv's this year do not want to come to the u.s. and are remaining in afghanistan by choice. we were really shocked and saddened to hear that claim made, as it does not work at all would -- in our experience with
siv holders. in our experience, our allies want to come to the u.s. desperately, as they have often been tracked by the taliban in their own neighborhoods. however, the tickets for the few commercial flights out of afghanistan are often cost prohibitive for most afghans who have been fortunate enough to secure a visa. for those who cannot afford flights, they have to wait for an iom flight. in the past, it could take months for those to be scheduled, and it is what causes the daylight between the vision -- a visa issuance and arrival in the u.s. when siv recipients arrived by an iom flight, they can be connected with us and our resettlement agency. we pick them at the airport, we arrange for housing and we support them as they integrate. this is the work that we do.
today, we are welcoming a family of 12 in one of our locations, and we are honored to be doing that. i think that this concept of choice needs to be critically reviewed, for sure. particularly as the narrative concerns siv applicants. daniel: let me add a couple more questions. currently, this is a requirement for a letter of recommendation. the supervisor's explanation of ongoing serious threat you have experienced as a consequence of your employment on behalf of the u.s. government, if the current situation of the taliban taking control sufficient to comply with the requirement that supervisors must explain a serious threat. this is from jackie from dui global. this or any of the other questions. ambassador wayne, ambassador
crocker. or ambassador jacobs, please. ambassador jacobs: i'm not aware of any new development with the -- the applicants have to make a statement of what the threat is that they are experiencing. so, i'm not aware of any change to that. daniel: ok. ambassador wayne? ambassador wayne: i am sure the changing situation in afghanistan itself would change the argument the applicants can make and will strengthen that argument, especially if they come from areas no longer under government control. yes, i'm sure that that is part of it. and i want to say, right now we are looking at the siv question at this time. but as investor crocker said, and as others have written about
eloquently, this is still a time when we need to invest heavily as a government in diplomatic and assistive support for the government in kabul. they do still need security assistance, financial assistance, and they need diplomatic assistance. and we should be having all of the countries of the region, as many as we can get, and others sending clear messages to the taliban to seek a peaceful solution to this and to except the other parts of the society in afghanistan that do not share their views. so far they have not done that, they have not indicated willingness to do that. part of the initial agreement that the united states negotiated with the taliban had as part of that that they were going to have a dialogue with
the government in kabul. that dialogue has gotten nowhere. it has not been serious. and i am sure, right now in the recent weeks and months, it has been less serious. even though it is not as much leverage as we would've had as ambassador crocker made clear, if we still had all of our troops there, we still need to use all the leverage we do have, which is the fact afghanistan gets 80% of its money to function from international donors. that's not going to change in the future, and people are not going to want to give any money to a government that oppresses big chunks of the population. plus, you could have massive humanitarian needs emerging over the months ahead. and right now, there are over 2.5 million afghan refugees outside of the country.
and you can see those numbers -- could see those numbers soar in a chaotic situation that involves in the months ahead. daniel: ambassador crocker, i would love to bring you into this conversation. sir, you are on mute. ambassador crocker: uh, so -- but as he said, that is something we aspire to, people are doing the right thing. frankly, it is not going to happen. the taliban has been clear on what their agenda is. this is the same taliban that chose to give up power and the country, rather than turn over to us the al qaeda leadership that had perpetrated 9/11.
so, frankly, to say that they must now negotiate -- they think they have already won -- it just simply is not going to happen. look, where we are now, that path was set when the trump administration agreed to sit down with the taliban without the afghan government in the room. the long-standing taliban demand, we -- to it, and doing so delegitimized the afghan government and legitimized the taliban. it was right from the start. at one level, i would have to say i was not terribly surprised. but i am not sure i expected anything better from the trump administration. but i expect better from the biden administration. and boy has that been a disappointment. he has outtrumped trump.
he has made the decision to pull all the way out. and so, it was quite a shock to hear him make that decision. i think we will live to regret it. daniel: we have five minutes left and i want to give folks a minute to think about the immediate next steps we need to be taking over the next three, either in two weeks to the next three months. jill, i will start with you. the next two weeks to the next three months. jill: i would like to see people get to guam now. the leadership there has said that they are ready, willing and able to welcome our allies who have served. we have done it before. and, frankly, they have the hotel space to welcome our
allies. so, i would like to see those flights being taken right this minute. there is no reason to delay any further for that. daniel: ambassador wayne, what needs to happen? ambassador wayne: we need to move vigorously with the evacuation process, and also with the processing of others, not only those in the pipeline, but those who have legitimate cases to be considered, and i think that there are many. people got bumped out for questionable reasons or imperfect information come about that need to be an active process. secondly, we need to find ways to get support into kabul and to others, humanitarian support, but also economic and financial support, and military support. hopefully, there will be a rallying together to help hold this situation and get us back to a position where there can be
more serious engagement to get to peace. and third, we need to develop our contingency planning for those who are going to need assistance, both humanitarian assistance when they are on the move in the country or out of the country, but also those who worked closely with us, but not for us, in those contingency situations. and those who want to work and preserve the values they believe in, but we have to find a way to help them, no matter what you've evolved. daniel: ambassador jacobs, what needs to happen over the next three months? ambassador jacobs: i would say any efforts by congress to streamline the siv process we lcome. so, hopefully the senator -- she talked about a number of measures, so hopefully those
will get through. we need to start moving people as soon as possible. i understand the security reasons of the white house, that they do not want to talk a lot about countries we are talking to and all of that, but eventually they will have to make public the evacuation plan and where these people are going. and then support consular affairs, homeland security will have to figure out a surge program in order to have sufficient resources to process large numbers of people, hopefully more quickly than what has happened in the past. i have to say, i am hoping that they brought -- on board, so he can help to speed up the security. the so-called administrative processing that takes place, because that has been one of the major bottlenecks.
that depends on a lot of different agencies also, of course, throwing sufficient resources at this issue and, you know, moving more quickly. daniel: ambassador crocker, the last word. ambassador crocker: two points. first, treat this as the emergency it is with respect to those who have served us. all these changes to siv processing, important stuff, it is not going to help now. we have to move to emergency measures, we have to drop requirements. we need to get these people to safety, then sort it out. second point, we need to do something concrete to show that we support afghan forces. because it is not just -- who are leaving, we have contractors staying with them. and the afghan air force cannot
operate without support. we need to move right now to produce a different -- and to get -- back into the country for the air force, so lincoln again have air support -- so they can again have air support, but more significantly to show that we mean it when we say we are not completely backing out of this. it would be as important from around as operational benefits. daniel: our time is up. thank you to everybody for doing this. we could not do this without our great panelists. thank you so much. we will end it here. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ announcer: c-span is your unfiltered view of government, funded by television companies
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