Taliban's sweep across Afghanistan creates concerns about US security
News 12 spoke with Long Islanders regarding their concerns of what the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan could mean for the future of American security. Also, what does it mean for the women, children and people who were aiding the Americans inside the embattled country?
The Taliban vowed Tuesday to respect women's rights, forgive those who fought them and ensure Afghanistan does not become a haven for terrorists as part of a publicity blitz aimed at reassuring world powers and a fearful population.
Following a lightning offensive across Afghanistan that saw many cities fall to the insurgents without a fight, the Taliban has sought to portray themselves as more moderate than when they imposed a strict form of Islamic rule in the late 1990s. But many Afghans remain skeptical - and thousands have raced to the airport, desperate to flee the country.
Former Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) spoke outside of his home, as well as Daniel Murphy, the father of Lt. Michael Murphy - a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan in 2005. He said his son often shared stories of his time in Afghanistan.
“He said the men treated their dogs better than they treated women, so obviously you kind of worry about special operations troops, women, those that were activists. That's why I don't understand what happened to planned withdrawal,” said Daniel Murphy.
He met with News 12’s Eileen Lehpamer at the soon-be-be opened Navy SEAL museum in West Sayville named in honor of his son.
“I have no problem with the decision [to leave Afghanistan], I have a real problem with the way they executed it,” he said.
King told News 12 that the quick pullout from Kabul would hinder America’s ability to stop Afghanistan from becoming a “launching pad for terrorism.”
“Also we monitor what's going on in Pakistan from [Afghanistan], where there's also Islamic forces and there's nuclear weapons, so there's a real central base for intelligence gathering in Afghanistan. Plus, they were able to keep it from becoming a sanctuary for terrorism.”
Wazma Hassan, who lives in Nassau, is the president of Afghan Americans of New York. She is fearful for her family members still living in Afghanistan, especially the young women.
“With who is governing the country right now, anything is possible,” she says. “Fifteen-year-olds are taken out of their homes, forcibly married to these individuals.”
It remains to be seen what Taliban rule will mean for human rights. The Taliban has pledged to enforce Islamic law but also invited women to join the government.
AP Wire Services were used in this report.