UPDATED 7:27 PM PT – Monday, August 2, 2021
The U.S. State Department has struggled to keep up with the crumbling situation in Afghanistan. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the growing atrocities committed by the Taliban have posed significant problems for diplomats and military personnel in the country.
“I think it speaks to a larger issue, which is this: the Taliban has repeatedly said that they seek in the future a number of things,” he expressed. “…None of those things are going to be possible if the Taliban seeks to take the country by force and commits the kind of atrocities that have been reported.”
This came at the heels of a report from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, which detailed the alleged human rights abuses conducted by Taliban militants. The commission reported the terrorist group killed at least 40 civilians during their capture of the Spin Boldak District of Kandahar Province last month.
Researchers claimed the group targeted the civilians over suspected current and former ties to the Afghan government. They added many killed reportedly cheered on Afghan forces who were trying to take back the district.
I’m proud today to announce a new Priority 2 designation granting U.S. Refugee Admissions Program access for these Afghan nationals and their eligible family members.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 2, 2021
In response to the report, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said the Taliban violated international humanitarian laws and the group’s leaders should be held accountable.
“They show little regard for human life, for the rights of the Afghan people, including the basic right of the Afghan people to live in safety and security,” explained U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price. “The targeted killings, the destruction of buildings and bridges…other violent acts against the people of Afghanistan, we recognize they are in stark contravention to statements from the Taliban leadership.”
In addition, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani told members of the country’s parliament the situation in the country has worsened over the last three months. He blamed Joe Biden’s “sudden withdrawal” from the country.
However, Ghani claimed he would work with American forces to bring the violence under control over the next six months.
“We are seeking to do all we can to support the arrival at an outcome that is just and then importantly is durable,” Price stated. “To arrive at a solution and an outcome that is Afghan led, that is Afghan owned, and importantly, a solution that at least in our estimation, has to respect the basic and fundamental rights of the Afghan people.”
The U.S. is announcing a new Afghan P-2 refugee admissions category to protect certain Afghan nationals, including those who worked for the United States, to complement the Special Immigrant Visa. https://t.co/b4KENzSczq
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) August 2, 2021
Meanwhile, Secretary Blinken announced a refugee program to help Afghans who have aided the U.S. throughout the 20 year war. The program has aimed to help the refugees, who have reportedly been under persecution by Taliban forces, resettle in the U.S. with their families.
Military experts have urged the Biden administration to take significant steps to deter violence from the Taliban. This includes providing extensive air support, surveillance and intelligence resources as well as not advocating for actions that look like concessions to the terrorist organization.