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Delaware Senators ponder next steps with Afghanistan

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s senators are already formulating plans to build relationships with the new Afghan government.


Tuesday is the deadline set by President Biden to withdraw troops from Afghanistan as they rush to evacuate U.S. Citizens and allies from that country.


The U.S. departure leaves remaining Afghan citizens in the hands of a group known for their harsh, militaristic rule of the country through the late 90’s.


Sen. Tom Carper says building relationships with the new leaders of the Taliban will be important in fostering peace.


“FDR did not like Joseph Stalin,” Carper said. “And we may not like the Taliban, we may not trust the Taliban, but if they wanna have some kind of a decent country going forward they need us — they need us frankly a whole lot more than we need them.”


Carper adds that process has already started, with the sharing of information related to ISIS activities, known locations, and coordinating to stamp out the terrorist group.


He says if things go well, it may be a sign the Taliban has changed, and is more willing to work with the United States in the future.


And both Carper and Sen. Chris Coons recognize the importance of welcoming incoming Afghan refugees in the country.


Biden has been criticized for his handling of the pull-out effort, and one particular concern has been safety, following last week’s attack on the Kabul airport as troops continue to rescue Afghans.


Sen. Chris Coons says proper measures are being taken to ensure refugees coming into America are trustworthy.


“Those who can present documentation that show that they served alongside American forces, that they were contractors with us for USAID or the State Department of the Defense Department, and their lives were at risk if they stayed in Afghanistan — I think we should be giving those folks the benefit of the doubt and welcoming them to the United States,” said Coons.


Coons adds the vetting process is happening first at U.S. military bases in the Middle East and Germany before resettling in American cities.


He says welcoming these refugees, and helping them settle into their new lives after such a traumatic experience is the best thing people can do to help.


Roman Battaglia is a corps member withReport for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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