Senator Shaheen on the future of Afghanistan, “It’s a very different country than when we went there after 9/11. The Taliban needs to understand that. Hopefully, they will begin to appreciate the importance of respecting human rights, the role of woman and girls, and the need to open up that society.”
In an interview with Chris Ryan and Justin McIsaac, Senator Jeanne Shaheen discusses possible reasons why a large portion of theAmerican people are distrustful of the government and other traditional institutions, expresses her opinion of the Biden Administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, explains why she is more interested in how we go forward in Afghanistan than looking back at what might have gone wrong, describes what leverage might be used to influence the Taliban now that we have left, blames the Trump Administration for initiating a flawed format for negotiations for the Afghan withdrawal, reacts to President Biden’s speech where he said that the Afghan withdrawal was an extraordinary success, and talks about whether she will support the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.
Senator Shaheen reiterated that the public shouldn’t be distrustful of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. They were developed over a long period of time and not rushed overnight like many people believe.
The Senator is critical of some politicians, who for ideological reasons, have not been honest with the people. She believes that honesty, transparency, and having open discussions about policy decisions are the only ways to rebuild trust.
When President Biden announced that the US would be pulling out of Afghanistan on August 31, Senator Shaheen expressed her disappointment with the decision. She believes that the withdrawal could have been done better and is concerned that many Afghans, who aided us during our occupation, have been left behind.
The Senator appreciates the efforts to evacuate so many Americans and Afghan supporters and mourns the loss of thirteen service members.
When asked about what questions she would like answered about the execution of the Afghan evacuation, Senator Shaheen said that she was more concerned with looking forward than looking back. The Senator is worried about extricating the people who have been left behind and the plight of women and girls who will be living under the rule of the Taliban.
Senator Shaheen hopes that we can use quiet diplomacy and pressure from the international community to influence the behavior of the Taliban. The Senator believes that international recognition and financial aid can sway the Taliban to release any Americans and Afghan survivors who have been left behind and to be more tolerant.
When the Trump Administration began negotiating a withdrawal from Afghanistan, there was no Afghan women having representation at the table. Senator Shaheen points out that this was in violation of US law and is a reason why this withdrawal was flawed from the start.
When she was asked if she agreed with President Biden’s description that the Afghan withdrawal was an extraordinary success, Senator Shaheen agreed that getting a large number of Americans and Afghan helpers out in a short period of time was an extraordinary success, but she has a number of concerns about the withdrawal.
As the House and the Senate discuss the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion budget resolution bill, Senator Shaheen is withholding her support of the resolution bill until she finds out more about what is in it. She supports making investments in childcare, healthcare, family medical leaves, and education.