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FLEOA President's Message on Afghanistan

Dear FLEOA Members,
       
What the world has witnessed as the United States removes our presence in Afghanistan is both tragic and heartbreaking, especially considering we are preparing to commemorate 20 years since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. These attacks propelled the United States into Afghanistan with the goal of finding and dismantling terror regimes, including the Taliban that harbored and protected Al Qaeda forces.

It is incredibly sad that this weekend appears to mark the end of 20 years of work with the return of the Taliban regime. 

While history will judge this in time, we would be remiss if we did not take a moment to remind all Americans of the service and sacrifice of thousands of military and federal civilian personnel in Afghanistan. This sacrifice and service includes the work of many federal law enforcement officers and agents from across all 65 federal law enforcement agencies.

These courageous and patriotic Americans answered the call and tried to defend Afghanistan and support their people against terrorism. In doing so, these military and civilian service members gave Afghan citizens a taste of freedom, helped establish rights for women, secured both a voting and judicial system, helped their economy grow, and investigated all forms of crimes impacting both Afghanistan and the United States. 

It should be remembered that their efforts were not in vain and they did a tremendous job under daunting circumstances. Our military and civilian personnel worked hard to provide a better way of life for the people of Afghanistan. We all share concerns about what the resurgence of the Taliban will mean for their freedoms.

We would be remiss if we didn’t praise the efforts of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Special Agents who were among the last Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Their job is normally to secure all American and Embassy personnel in a foreign country. For an evacuation of this magnitude, they did so working with U.S. military assets to ensure every American was safe and all U.S. interests at the Embassy were secured. This was an incredibly challenging and high intensity mission. Our entire nation is grateful for the DSS and military personnel who took on this task without question.

For all the military and civilian U.S. personnel that spent time and shed sweat, blood or tears in Afghanistan, we would like to say, thank you. You are great Americans, you did a tremendous job, and we applaud you. We also understand this is an emotionally taxing situation and the news coming from Afghanistan is devastating. If you are in need of support services, please check out FLEOA’s mental health initiatives

Stay Safe,

Larry Cosme
National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association