On August 15, 2021, just shy of the two-decade anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the efforts to create a country governed by the Afghan people, for the Afghan people collapsed into complete failure. The past four U.S. presidential administrations of both parties have devoted blood and more than $2,000,000,000,000 ($2 trillion) to ensure the Taliban do not return to power, promising they will not allow such a day to come. The Taliban retook complete control of the nation, while former Afghan leaders sought refuge in nearby countries.
We sat down for a panel discussion with experts who shared their experiences as Afghan-Americans and their work in senior roles in government and civil society and discussed what we needed to do to secure the lives of Afghan citizens who were facing near-certain death and torture.
In discussion was Farhat Popal, Immigrant Affairs Manager for the City of San Diego and former Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), Haris Tarin, Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Homeland Security, and Dr. Maryam Qudrat, Director of the Writer and Communication Resource Center at California State University, Long Beach, and former Adviser to the Ministry of Higher Education of Afghanistan.
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