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People gather to check on missing relatives a day after a deadly attack outside Kabul's international airport, at a hospital run by Italian NGO Emergency, in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 27, 2021. (Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images)

People gather to check on missing relatives a day after a deadly attack outside Kabul's international airport, at a hospital run by Italian NGO Emergency, in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 27, 2021. (Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images)

'The Answer Cannot Be More War,' House Dem Says After Deadly Attack in Afghanistan

"We must resist the urge to let our pain dictate our policy," said Rep. Sara Jacobs. "If we don't, we will have learned nothing from the last 20 years."

Kenny Stancil

Following Thursday's blasts outside Kabul's international airport and a nearby hotel, which killed and injured dozens of Afghans and several United States military personnel, U.S. Rep. Sara Jacobs warned Congress and President Joe Biden against responding to the deadly attack with "more war and violence."

"The answer cannot be more war and violence. The answer cannot be launching more ineffective and unaccountable counterterrorism operations."
—Rep. Sara Jacobs

"I am devastated by the loss of U.S. service members and innocent Afghan civilians in Kabul. My heart is with them and their loved ones," the California Democrat said in a statement. "The loss of lives today—those who were trying to escape and those working to protect them—is a heartbreaking tragedy."

"Like many Americans, I'm searching for answers and meaning amidst all of this tragic loss of life," Jacobs continued. "But the answer cannot be more war and violence. The answer cannot be launching more ineffective and unaccountable counterterrorism operations."

"We must resist the urge to let our pain dictate our policy," she added. "If we don't, we will have learned nothing from the last 20 years."

The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the two decades of military occupation that followed caused more than 240,000 deaths, displaced nearly six million Afghans, and cost U.S. taxpayers over $2.3 trillion and counting, according to the Costs of War project at Brown University.

In the wake of Thursday's explosions—for which ISIS-K, the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has reportedly claimed responsibility—Biden said to the attackers: "We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay."

"We will respond with force and precision, at our time, at the place we choose and at the moment of our choosing," the president said.

Jacobs, however, stressed that the U.S. "owe[s] it to all those who lost their lives to not commit the same mistakes" that it made almost 20 years ago in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

That message was echoed by Kate Kizer, policy director at Win Without War.

"In the immediate term," Jacobs said, "we must continue our work to evacuate as many Americans and vulnerable Afghans as possible."

On Thursday, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)—the lone member of Congress to vote against the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that was used to greenlight the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan—led a letter urging Biden to raise the U.S. refugee admissions cap to at least 200,000 for Fiscal Year 2022.

Jacobs, who was among the letter's 66 signatories, said that she "will continue to push for humanitarian parole for at-risk Afghans, increased support and assistance to Afghan refugees, and legal safeguards and funding for organizations that deliver lifesaving humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan."


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