tv Sen. Shaheen and Others Discuss Visas for Afghan Allies CSPAN July 26, 2021 3:06am-4:08am EDT
with the country and thank you all for joining us today. today's discussion as afghan partners in the pieces what is the united states with the country and i would prefer we maintain a small number of troops in afghanistan that position has been made. the events are moving rapidly there in those afghans have worked closely with the u.s. military, with our allies, u.s. diplomatic development intelligent communities and are going to be a tight end of risk to taliban attacks going forward and there's easily tens of thousands of afghans who aided the u.s. over the last 20 years and not just military operations but the development of diplomatic intelligence communities most of these afghans families what obligation do we have to all of these people. i would argue we have a major obligation to all of these afghans and their families. there has been significant action thought congress to streamline the so-called special
immigrant visa sib's process or are afghan partners who work with the u.s. military. that is one part of the afghan community and i think we have an obligation to and there are likely going to be many other actions that may be needed. there are a lot of questions such as why does it take so long to process these special immigrant visas and how and where might an evacuation process take place. they might be included in what heather visa actions do you think exists outside of the sib process and thus jump right into a conversation. i want to welcome our panelists, we have with us sen. jeanne shaheen busy chair the senate relations subcommittee in europe regional security cooperation and the cochair of the senate nato observer group and she's been a consistent leader on these issues.
thank you sen. jeanne shaheen for being with us and we also have with us today, and and virtual girl anthony wayne a former investor and senior advisor. and is a conscious on afghanistan here with us here at csi f and i'm really janet jacobs, former secretary of state, for consular affairs to help give us a better perspective on sib visa processing and also really grateful to have mr. ryan crocker who i really admire is a former u.s. ambassador afghanistan iraq and pakistan and advisor to her innovation called no one up behind advocacy group that focuses on the sib process. and the and finally last but not least, very grateful to have the director public policies. the train immigration and refugee services jill focuses on
the efficacy and one of those being the sib for our allies and has a lot of information on the situation of afghanistan. that is going to bring avon tough really relevant information of conversation. thank you for joining me today nevada quickly minor online viewers is an interactive online event. i invite you all to reduce pain through civic questions to our panel. just a million questions please go to our webpage and click on ask live questions here button. enemy start with you ambassador, you been a real partner with me on this issue and what is the challenge that we are currently facing in afghanistan. >> of course the big challenges how do you know the level work and still retain credibility good outcomes. number of the things were going
to be talking about is the credibility and the response ability of the u.s. reflecting our 20 years in afghanistan. when the announcement was made by the president of the u.s. trips are going to leave, was also announced that. [inaudible]. [inaudible]. many were saw in a has many people worried in afghanistan but it also reflects the fact that afghan more row really suck quickly in the number of security units. and set up large sets of people moving across afghanistan. * of most 300,000 afghans have been internally displaced since january of this year. so there is a lot going on. what we are going to look at
today in detail is what responsibility do we have torsos afghans who work with us in the military but also with the state department in u.s. aib and others going forward i'm sure there were going to touch upon the issues of what responsibilities do we have with the afghans who believed it in us and believed in the values that we were talking about any objections we were setting. some help women echo another's were activists for democracy the people who maintain a free press in afghanistan which stands out in that part of the world and many others. some avoided talk about that and this gets back to the u.s. credibility. and it be an easy way ever to leave the war situation. and you drive it much better if you leave it with your credibility and tact freighted and we mentioned three big challenges as we go-ahead.
one is in the media, what are we going to do to bring people out to work with us who are really in danger and secondly, other things we can do to help rally the morale in cabo and other places who really don't believe in the taliban and don't see a future of afghanistan moved by the taliban with many of the same practices that they used in the 1990s. and then third, related to that, what can you do or what should you be doing to have continuously plans for the future not knowing which way things are going to go. i think he was objectives still needs to be in afghanistan apiece in afghanistan the reflects the diversity of its people in afghanistan that ideally can bring limits from the taliban and the non- taliban
forces the makeup person of cabo and women through democracy advocates and others all coming together peacefully in within the framework that we can't get there, what should come next pretty so we going to grapple with some of these problems today, it's a lot bigger than we can talk about pretty there's very funny things that we can deal for tens of thousands of afghans who we know are in danger because they work with us. closely. thank you rated. >> sen. jeanne shaheen you been very active and vocal on a mechanic at in afghanistan, thank you very much there's been a lot of energy on capitol hill especially the last couple of months and you have been a great part of that. you walk us through your thinking on how to proceed it in the activity in congress senator. >> yes and as the investor plaintiffs that is about the credibility of the united states and about what we should do from a humanitarian perspective to ensure those who made a commitment to help us that we
promised to make sure that they were not correct in the slaughter by the alabama as a tele- man expands her influence throughout afghanistan. i started working on this issue over ten years ago with john mccain. because as far back as 2010, we knew we had a problem with the process and is cumbersome and difficult and the paperwork that was required for applicants, so that they had worked with americans was challenging for many afghanistan's and so i have been working on it ever sense and john mccain worked hard and that was one of his legacies they felt strongly that we needed to make sure that those people who helped american troops did not wind up being killed because of that help. so right now as we look at the challenges we are facing as an american is of afghanistan, police are troops, it is with
that we have thousands of afghans who have helped us who would like to get out of the country because they are threatened. and when president biden announced that he was going to be withdrawing troops we had over 17000 applicants in the queue. we know there are more and that number as we think about their families and the other people who come forward since the announcement of the americas withdrawals predict the legislation right now in both the house and the senate and are built my bill in the senate has bipartisan support from senator ernst in wicker and others and i'm very pleased to see the amount bipartisan support for this effort. there's a similar effort in the house and her legislation would increase the number of siv applicants over the house members which is a thousand - 20000 and would also changes the process makes it easier to get
the paperwork that we reduce the amount of time required to help them in the americans from two years dental one. we also changed the medical exam which is often been a real difficulty for afghans to get the medical exams that's required to get them to the united states and then because it takes a long time to the other paperwork processed, get that done and then they need to get another medical exam and we have waived that. we know that the president earlier this week announced the state department is setting up an effort to see that the afghanistan's get to a third countries all the way for the application to be processed i think this is all hands on deck moment. when we got to do everything we can that those people who are depending on the united states know that we are still there and support when the sacrifices they made to help us.
>> thank you senator and i full heartedly agree. jill can you tell us what the operation refuge and can you give us a better understanding of what the situation is especially in the last 72 hours please read. jacobs: sure and thank you the invitation to this distinguished panel in the discussion on the topic is incredibly important for our afghan allies demeanor protection partied and within the refugee services, have operated for over 80 years offering and help more than a half-million refugees played a major role selling 9000 afghan allies from threat services we also advocate for the rights for the apartments in these programs. we been working closely on nongovernmental partners and human rights and ideals and international refugees with this project and during wartime allies as well as congressional
champions with the senator on the administrations for evacuation for this 18000 afghan allies ovulation have already applied for this visa and after months of escalating advocacy, the biden administration finally announced up on wednesday just as wednesday, july 14 the plan called operation allies refuge to evacuate afghans special immigrant recess applicants and others who may be particular vulnerable this is what we have learned so far printed evacuations, the last week of july. the state department is chartered commercial aircraft when it comes to military aircraft. with respect to leadership, rough deputy, security advisor and former national is coordinating the according and trent it is a process in the location destinations are still in place but mastered jacobson,
three-time chief admission. [inaudible]. is leading the state department coordination unit pretty and earlier reports of essential asian countries may be one of the best. and with respect to actual evacuations. [inaudible]. how many, my be applicants as i did like in more than 50000 family members will be saved to the commission. and where they will go pretty were also deeply concerned about how people who are outside of, but even access the evacuation. were seeing various reports about potential and hope challenge of 2500 afghanistan so may be evacuated to u.s. military installations and then other reports stating that they would not publicly release information on destination. or numbers of afghanistan's. so path is unclear.
it is also very reports of the locations for evacuations weather so may be brought to directly to the united states or u.s. territory of the country. on july 2nd, indicating from the white house they were considering these three essential asian countries, but we have not seen any evidence of the countries have actually consented to receive evacuees. john kirby said in a briefing on wednesday, that all options are being considered that would include a potential for u.s. installations. from 19 from our perspective, the applicants the locations matter rightly as we u.s. oil that rights of the applicants. this plan which was just released on wednesday is a vital first step in honoring the promise of afghan allies. as concerning like scared in the
details, much like the president's remarks on afghanistan unless thursday, left with more questions than answers. we understand the sensitivity military advocate operations but these are outstanding questions from the u.s. security consideration. we update and ministration recognize the need for information and reduce anxiety release details as soon as possible. thank you. >> thank you very much and ambassador jacobs can you tell us what is a process and why this is no challenging ambassador jacobs. >> all right, thank you. and i think all of the distinguished especially today's panel and everyone brings so much dedication and expertise on the subject. and also let me say that there isn't anyone involved in the siv
process that does a firmly believe that we owe the afghanistan's who have helped us to certainly a widespread commitment to try to do that. this is a complicated visa process. since it was the the siv process was established in 2009, they have issued over 70000 siv and we have a long ways to go. it is complicated, it is hard because the requirements laid out there but also because of some of the difficulties involved for the afghans themselves in trying to meet the criteria and in trying to gather the required documents. in the challenge especially for those who worked for the military. often times supervisors are no longer active members of the military as hard to track them down afraid is hard to get the
proof of employment and it's hard to get a letter of recommendation. there is a list of documents required basically to process is that you have to show that you have been in 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 was one year. and you have to have a letter of recommendation. and you go through what is called a chief of commission approval process. there is a committee within the state department thank you so together to look at required documentations and then send it to the embassy in kabul with recommendation for approval. once that approval is received and the applicant has to file a petition it with u.s. citizenship and immigration services. that petition then has to be
approved and there's more documentation requirements for that and then eventually once all of the paperwork is in order someone makes an appointment to set up an interview takes place and there is an administrative processing and i have to tell you, that right now is historically has been the longest delay in processing this application. what is it exactly, really a security that is radio on the agencies in washington to make sure that the applicant presents no threat to the united states. once that is done, then they can an applicant is approved for go ahead for medical and sen. jeanne shaheen as explained efforts to streamline some of
this and certainly the medical and it makes a lot of sense so they don't have to do that more than once. it is a complicated process and it can be difficult for people especially get all the required documentation and the other challenge right now of course is that we have a pandemic and that these infections around the world have been closed for over a year and so not much of any process, i will say that, it's really trying hard to process as many visas as they can and unfortunately they still have covid-19 issues may have shut down not too long ago because there was a covid-19 infection within the it 86 is complicated process and it can get delayed it any one of those steps along the way.
let me just say quickly, the latest effort to try to evacuate. evacuate people and the pipeline has roughly 18000 people in right now, if that pipeline is never really going to diminish because you can apply for this up until december of 2020 tips of the pipeline is constantly refilled sort of as it's emptied out. so the numbers yes are significant we need to pay attention to that. but one shouldn't believe that once we address 18000 people in the family members that it's over. no, this will continue until 2022. anna's first taking applicants to a third country, and i suspect there are negotiation taken place. certainly the investor tracy jacobson is the perfect person
and think to be leading this effort at the state department because she has a lot of experience. in malaysia and for any country, that takes at least on i certain number of the afghan applicants. normally the one i guarantee that the visas will be issued in other words, and that thousands of people in it, these people are not going to be staying pretty will probably want guarantees on how long will they stay in for sure we want to know that they can get visas. they're not going to be able to offer those guarantees, we can never guarantee in advance for someone full get a visa so there will be a certain number of people that are now going to be denied. because the dinner to meet one of the requirements that has been established. so there is that predict and let me add that bringing applicants into the u.s., presents a huge e
for the state department because it could present challenges to the counselor of doctrine that is currently in place and what is that. decisions on visas are made overseas, and the denials cannot be challenged in the u.s. sports. wood to get them on the u.s. soil, denials can be and probably will be taken into the u.s. courts. that is a serious concern of the state did in the department. the vulnerability has been carefully protected by the department. there are important reasons for this remain in place so those are some of the challenges. in deciding it is actually going to be evacuated, which family members are going to be able to accompany the applicants as people mentioned here in getting the word out into areas of the
afghans and all of these are special challenges. in the white house is talking about moving people by the end of this month so i suspect that ambassador jacobson others are working on this argue because they are challenging. the white house is committed to helping those who that it helped us and i can tell you that as i said at the beginning, the people involved from the counselor perspective also share that commitment. the last thing is that certainly the state department is asked to put additional consular officers under this task. counselor affairs is defunded. and unfortunately during the pandemic, especially with the
halt in visa operations, revenue for counselor really dried up read so there are some financial issues because you may also know that the state department is being pressured to shorten the wait times for the u.s. passport so there only a certain number of resources to go around reading i know the state department will certainly put as many resources as i can on processing the siv but do keep in mind there are challengers there as well. >> thank you. ambassador ryan crocker, thank you for being here and when obligations we have to the afghanistan and you talked about siv is that the totality of folks that we need to be thinking about party to. >> thank you i would like to start by thanking the sen. jeanne shaheen for her extraordinary efforts over the
last ten years to look after the people who look after us. we are facing a lot of challenges as was just pointed out. but we will be facing a lot more of it was offer her continuous dedication to fixing this problem. a lot of fixes so thank you senator. i would say that again it's a very complicated situation we face right now, we have these 18000 and as we seek to move them out, to plan it clearly is being put together as it's implemented, none of this will 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 we are seeing what they're doing. they're taking the border crossing points and seizing centers. and they are on the move. anything that we do on evacuations is going to require taliban ascent predict let's face it, we will be there to secure the airport read afghan national security of sure will be part of this but again, given our full negotiating process, i am not sure how they are waiting. they would bring forces in to the security report not directly related to these evacuations freighted with the publicly one not to do it. so with all of the other complications that we are looking at, we had a bear in mind that we gave up effectively
u.s. agency on disk. anything else we and so it's kind of up to the taliban pretty is a very bad place to be party and think it is crucial that we find a way to do the right thing. the moral obligation here. talk about our own national security, it is a truly global situation and that was one place that is impacted. there also watching what we will do and we will be able to have future comics they will be kind of nasty complicated things. and we will have an urgent need for interpreters. to translate languages and culture. afghan in the world, we could
not function without them. the military is now learning this grade is a very good thank. if we do the right thing. after this afghan experience, before unwilling or ineffective or both and that people died because of it read there's not to be a long line of folks willing to enter the port and other places of the conflict in the urgent security need. so this is just the beginning of what will be a very long to make the right decisions and to do the right thing pretty did that make sure that we get people this is no hands on deck moment read this is not usual has to be a presidential priority thank you.
>> sen. jeanne shaheen i want to give you a chance to react that i want to put couple of questions in from the audience in a have to leave early so i wanted to give you time to react what you heard and then i'll put a couple of questions out there to give you a chance to direct the questions. >> i think that everybody fruit slightly different perspectives has played out the challenges and i very much appreciated the investors work it's in the work that he has done over the years along with everyone on this panel to try to address the challenge that we have in getting out of afghanistan. and those people who put their lives risk to help us. and we've got a look at what we can do now to streamline the process and to ensure that we can get those out who are most at risk and i can't remember who said it perhaps it was jill that one of the challenges also is
that well cobble has some security, although not a whole lot but certainly people who are in many the provinces around the country are even more at risk than those in there and at risk at being able to get someplace where they can be evacuated out of the country.t also got a bear that in mind. and as to some extent, the taliban are going to have to be willing to let this happen. while we do have turkish forces that are guarding the airport in kabul, we know that the taliban and ten content can be very deceptive intent some of the threats to all of the operations that we might continue to happen afghanistan. so thinking about how we can actually movement of people
outside of the country to a third countries going to be critical in how we protect them when they are in a third country for a period of time until applications process is and another whole different challenge see you only get to several questions that have imposed. one is from my friend bill sweeney is affiliate here. retired ceo of isis and congress will not be in session for most of august and september and what congressional efforts are needed. in a few weeks that's a question for you sen. jeanne shaheen perhaps you jill, and applicable more on the table. this is from angela. how many afghans with thesis will be girls and women it given that they are half of the population it and another question from my friend also affiliate at csis in the former
retired service officer, is a huge step in writing train how can the u.s. government find interim or temporary options for human rights defenders who want to say now that they can leave african such as education related pieces. so maybe that is a question for the investor jacobs and maybe jill. so sen. jeanne shaheen, i still want to give you to react to any of the three questions and then i would like the rest of the panel to take on any of those three russians partied but sen. jeanne shaheen will wanted to give you a chance to answer first. >> i do think that we are in a place where we have the potential for, tract before the august recess we are working on the national defense bill which will be part of next week. there will be a provision in that to address siv and there's an appropriations bill that is on the table. the house is already past relevant committee and their
bills that house many of the things that i talked about, a little lower number in terms of applicants that certainly expedited process that should help us we also need to provide the funding. i'm cautiously optimistic that their strong bipartisan support in a sense of urgency about the need is to provide the funding and make sure that we expedite the current legislation to make an address this crisis situation. i want also speak to the situation for afghan women and girls because the point that is being raised, how many of these siv's are women and girls are disproportionately low numbers because most of the folks who helped our military so interpreters, logistics people those people have been covered historically under the siv process have been heavily
weighted toward men. and yet right now, my biggest fear is how were going to help those people who helped us is what is going happen to the girls and women in afghanistan because we know with the taliban's position as we know where they have control of the provinces and they have already put back in place very restrictive laws that take it difficult that don't hello girls to go to school most cases and don't allow women to work and don't allow freedom of movement for women and this is a huge issue and some think the united states needs to continue to speak out loud and clear in the international arena about we need to do everything to help women and girls in afghanistan. >> okay i also want to hear sen. jeanne shaheen i have one other question not necessarily sq to respond but i hope you get to answer it.
this is a daughter of an siv applicant. my question is that we all know that the siv process is broken and they have denied other people who are faithful to people working and i'm interpreting this. including my father, so what will be future of those who have missing documents because they cannot find their supervisors. we disclaim leave those folks behind. so how about investor jacobs or jill, can you take that question on specifically what we have sen. jeanne shaheen glistening place. just on that specific question. >> exam but has read that outlet jill at anything that she has read basically mass, people have been denied. siv it's normally because of missing documentation. or the security checks terms up something unexpected and for
those that have been denied, there is an appeal process not for those who have been denied for security reasons but in the beginning stages, the approval process you can appeal that. and at the time they're able to present missing documentation are other evidence to meet the requirements and they are able to do so. but this is something as i mentioned earlier, is going to happen with all of those people in the pipeline. the vast majority will be used to it essentially but there could be denial and that is just sort of the nature of the visa process. in jail i don't know if you have anything to add. >> i'm going to ask that we are quite aware of the denial rate because of the systemic issues with the siv process so that is why we are advocating evacuations or the u.s.
territory were individuals would be able to access other forms of protections if there are cases are denied and it would be able to access legal counsel to help them through the application process those who are represented and how they will counsel with the assistance have a much greater application approval rate. so that is why we are calling on the evacuation do they place, not only safety but also respect rights of the individual applicants i would also say with respect to other honorable populations that should receive protections, there are many afghans and violence and persecution in the lives of countless u.s. afghans who do not qualify for an siv or other afghan refugees and family members have afghans in the united states will be far great
danger and withdrawal many members of the council members recently urged the biden administration to expedite additional pathways to utilize you u.s. refugee settlement treated the families reunification's and humanitarian programs to ensure these afghans are not left behind for example, these s of the industry consider the humanitarian and pursue it is to to 12 feet five and would allow admissions of afghans urgent humanitarian reasons for significant benefits and dhs should also establish these programs for at risk such as activists, journalists, humanitarian workers and women and children to give them expedited access and processing. >> sen. jeanne shaheen would you
like to react to anything you just heard. >> no i just a great with what jill said like he is important for us to look at other ways to have the people who may not qualified under the siv process boo-hoo are in danger because they work with us in various other capacities. and to reiterate, this is a real crisis situations would gotta 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 a situation now we've got to look for ways to make the bureaucracy working of those people who are in danger. >> let me bring in one more question and then i would like to bring in the avastin and investors pretty the afghans of interest, and a former refugee coordinator in bangkok in 1983,
20 the questions, ambassador wayne, let me give you the opportunity to come into this question. [inaudible]. >> thank you to everybody and senator thank you for all you have done also in jill thank you for all you are doing. you and your colleagues. and there's been a voice of reason here in afghanistan for a long time. i would like to give one experience, this morning i have amended to talk to a woman who has been, and afghan woman who runs a program for young women to provide them an education. and she basically said that we are very concerned about the future. it's a very emotional time we hear all the stories about with the taliban are going, going back to their old practices in the district and that they have taken over, the burning schools books and they are making girls
and women cannot come out without being covered. on the other hand, we do not want to tell a man to end, we want to stay and do all we can to preserve the afghanistan. we have to make it better. so her bottom line was, if they could please prepare way to force comes to worst, you can help us but right now give us what we need to sustain ourselves. so be supportive of us where we are and be prepared to help us if we need that extra help in the future. belief want to keep afghanistan living on outcome of the diversity of more rights for children and women because all of us right now are the leaders, we can't take all of the kids with aspirated we cannot take all of the girls with us and we want we care for them read. >> ambassador crocker i would
like to bring you in on this and investor jacobs. >> i would just add my own voice to the issue of afghan women and girls because i was a very early part of our efforts in afghanistan we had our first girl schools up and running in january of 2002 read and then chairman biden came to visit and i was a houston he reported that his remarks last week. it is not part of the nationbuilding that president believes we should not be doing in front because we made the priorities and for the first time in oh two, students who are in the schools and all of them were pr. when i left the last time, as an investor in 2012, were talking about a million students, 35 percent were girls.
so now what, those girls those women step forward to because we were saying to step forward in education and business in the journalism a new step forward. and that was then and this is now know my goodness. so in addition to the obligation and we continue to have for the folks who directly. i believe we have a profound obligation, get to the females in afghanistan who are ready to reshape afghanistan as a society. were not walking out of that. and as we just heard from us are going to be quick. if the taliban has been pretty clear with the going to do. and this is quite foreseeable. so is pretty tough to figure out with the legal action is if you have given up your leverage which we pretty much have read
but boy oh boy, we need to be in overdrive. to figure out what we can do to protect, they, those who helped us directly. this is the society in afghanistan. our commitment, we have to figure out what is next and it most definitely cannot be to leave them printed. >> ambassador jacobs, i love to bring you into this. >> yes, from the last set of comments, 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 envision a that is more diverse and certainly for the women and girls. for the options for meetings, we
have the process that we have heard a lot today about how complicated that is. other options might be and of course this depends on environment and you could establish in the country refugee program. the telematics are being charged, that could be difficult. but that is an option for identifying people who are being persecuted. and then joe mentioned, humanitarian poll i that would be another option pretty the department of homeland security. i would say that traditionally they have not been used to move large people. usually something that is used sparingly. but that does not mean that it could not be used for this
particular instance to help women and girls in particular who are not part of this siv program so there are options. 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 more inclusive and certainly continue with rights for women and girls and that i do not have an answer for. i don't know if anybody else has comments on that. >> jill. >> may i just ask about this concept of choice because during the president's remarks on afghan it on thursday, he repeated what we believe to be false claim that half of the afghans who are issued siv this
year do not want to come to the united states and remaining in afghanistan by choice. we were really shocked and saddened to hear that claim made as it does not go along with our experience in serving these leaseholders. from our experience in our allies want desperately to come to the united states. ... ... in the past that could take months for those flights to be scheduled and it's what causes the daylight between the visa issuance and rival in the united states. when recipients arrived via eye
when flight then they can be connected with us and our resettlement agency. we will pick them at the airport, we will support them as they integrate. this is the work of welcome that we do. in fact, we're welcoming a family of 12 in one of our locations. we were honored to be doing that. i think this concept of choice needs to be critically reviewed, for sure, , and particularly as the narrative concerns siv applicants. >> let me add a couple more questions. this is required for letter of recommendation. the supervisor explanation of any ongoing series threat you have experienced or are experiencing as a consequent of your employment by or on behalf of the us government. if the current situation of the taliban taking control of many regions sufficient to comply
with this requirement that supervisors must explain esters threat? this is from jackie from da i global. ambassador wayne, ambassador crocker or ambassador jacobs, please, ambassador jacobs. >> i am not aware of any sort of new development. the applicant to have two make a statement what the threat is that they are experiencing, some not aware of any change to that. >> okay. ambassador wayne? >> well, i mean, i'm sure the change in security situation in afghanistan is so will change the argument that the applicants can make and will strengthen the argument, especially if they come from areas that are no longer under government control. so yes, i'm sure that that's
part of it. and i just want to say right now we are looking at the siv question at this time. but as ambassador crocker said,, and as others have talked about, have written about eloquently, this is still a time when we need to be investing heavily as a government in diplomatic and assistant support for the government in kabul. they do still need security assistance. they still need financial assistance, and any diplomatic assistance. 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 accept the other parts of the society in afghanistan that don't share their views. so far they have not done that.
they have not indicated any willingness to do that. part of the whole initial agreement that the united states negotiated with the taliban had as part of that, that they're going to have dialogue with the government in kabul. that dialogue really has gotten nowhere. it is not been serious, and i'm sure right now in recent weeks and months it's been less serious. even though it's not as much leverage as we would've had come as ambassador crocker made clear, did we still and all of our tools and our troops and their. we still need to use all the leverage we do have, which is the fact that afghanistan gets 80% 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. you could see those numbers soar in a chaotic situation that evolves in the weeks and months ahead. >> ambassador crocker, i would love to bring you into this conversation. [inaudible] >> sir, you are unmute. you're on. >> so what tony said of course is something we all aspire to, people doing the right thing. this is frankly it's not going to happen. the taliban have been pretty clear on what their agenda is
and this is the same taliban that chose to give up power and give up 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, when they think they have already won, just simply isn't 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. long-standing taliban demand, we did it, and doing so delegitimize the afghan government and legitimize the taliban. it was right from the start. at one level i would have to say i wasn't terribly surprised, but
i'm not sure expect anything better from the trump administration. i did expect better from the biden administration, and boy, has that been a disappointment. he has out trumped trump. he is the one who made the decision to pull the military all the way out. so it was quite a shock to hear him actually make that decision. now he owns this policy. i think you will live to regret it. i think this will be a permanent stain on his presidency. >> we have five minutes left. i want to give folks a minute to think about what are the immediate next steps we need to be taking over the next three to, either two weeks to the next three months. jill, let me start with you and each of you go around the table. the next two weeks to the next three months. jill? >> i i would like to see the evacuation flights started now
and get people to guam, the guam leadership the said they are ready, willing and able to welcome our allies who have served. they have done it before. there's precedence or in the frankly have the hotel space, et cetera, to welcome our allies. so i would like to see those flights being taken right this very minute. there's no reason to delay any further for that. >> ambassador wayne, what needs to happen in the next two weeks, next three months? >> well, we do need to move vigorously with the evacuation process, and also with the processing of others, that only those who are in the pipeline of those who have legitimate cases to be considered, and it think there are many. a lot of people got bumped out for questionable reasons, imperfect information. that needs to be really an active process. secondly, we need to find ways to get support in the kabul and
others, both humanitarian support but also economic,, financial support and military support, and hopefully there will be a rallying together to help hold this situation and get us back to a position where they can be more serious engagement to get to peace. and then 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 very closely with us but not for us in this contingency situations. and those who want to write network and preserve the values they believe in, but we have to be ready to help them, no matter what evolves, it seems to me. >> ambassador jacobs, what needs to happen over the next two weeks for the next three months? >> well, i would say any efforts
by congress to streamline the siv process are welcome. so hopefully senator shaheen talked about a number of measures come hopefully those will get through. i agree with the jill that we need to start living people as soon as possible. i understand the security reasons that the white house doesn't want to talk a lot about countries that we are talking to and all of that, but eventually they're going to have to make public the evacuation plan and where these people are going. and then support counselor affairs and 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 that has happened in the past. and i have to say, i'm hoping that they brought russ travers on board so that he can help
speed up the security, the so-called administrative processing that takes place because that really has been one of the major bottlenecks. that of course depends on a lot of different agencies also throwing sufficient resources at this issue and moving more quickly. >> okay. ambassador crocker, i'm going to give you the last word. >> two points. first, treat this as the emergency it is with respect to those who served us. all of these changes to siv processing, important stuff, it isn't going to help now. we have got to resort to emergency measures. we need to drop requirements for all 13 or 14 boxes to have been checked. we need to get these people to safety and then sort it out. second, we need to do something
concrete to show that we do indeed support afghan national security forces. because it's not just our troops who are leaving but our contractors leave with them and the afghan air force cannot function without contractor support. we need to move right now to produce a different scope of work and to get contractors n the country, particularly for the air force, so that they can again have air support for their forward deployment. but most significantly to show that we really mean it when we say we are not completely backing out of this. it would be as important for morale as it would be for operational benefits. >> okay. our time is up. i want to thank everybody. thanks so much for doing this today. we will continue to keep working on this. we couldn't do this biden