Dear Colleague to All Members on the Terrorist Attack Outside of the Kabul Airport
Today, we suffered the loss of life of at least twelve U.S. servicemembers and dozens of civilians from the terrorist attack outside of the Kabul airport. We mourn the loss of every innocent life taken, and we join every American in heartbreak over the deaths of the Americans and all killed.
Sadly, the gravity of the situation in Afghanistan necessitates reiterating that Members must not request or plan visits to the region. The Departments of Defense and State have explicitly stated that Member travel to Afghanistan and surrounding countries would unnecessarily divert needed resources from the priority mission of safely and expeditiously evacuating Americans and Afghans at risk. It should be clear that any Member presence presents a danger and an opportunity cost of resources, regardless of whatever value that Members consider they may add by such trips.
Since the end of July, over 100,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan with the assistance of the U.S. military and allied forces. As we continue this process, Congress, on a bipartisan basis, remains deeply concerned about the security and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. We must and will continue to be briefed by the Administration. Today, Congressional leaders and I were briefed by Secretary Austin, and further conversations among top Administration officials and Congress will be ongoing.
As we work to bring stability and security to the situation, we pray for the lives lost, those injured and the families of all affected. Congress and the Country are grateful to our military, diplomatic and intelligence communities for their courage and patriotism.
More updates to come.
Speaker of the House