Prince Harry issued a statement regarding the Taliban’s new hold on Afghanistan.
The Duke of Sussex, who previously served in the British Army for a decade, including two deployments in Afghanistan, issued a joint statement with Dominic Reid, the CEO of Harry’s Invictus Games, on Monday.
In it, they call on the international community, particularly those who have served or whose family members have served in the country, to reach out to one another as emotions flare regarding the Taliban takeover.
“What’s happening in Afghanistan resonates across the international Invictus community,” their statement reads. “Many of the participating nations and competitors in the Invictus Games family are bound by a shared experience of serving in Afghanistan over the past two decades, and for several years, we have competed alongside Invictus Games Team Afghanistan.”
The statement concludes: “We encourage everybody across the Invictus network — and the wider military community — to reach out to each other and offer support for one another.”
— Invictus Games Foundation 💛🖤 (@WeAreInvictus) August 16, 2021
The Duke of Sussex founded the Invictus Games in 2014 in an effort to use athletics and competition to inspire service members to recover both physically and mentally from injuries suffered in combat.
The international military community has expressed strong feelings about the situation in Afghanistan after more than two decades of military operations designed to stop the Taliban from reclaiming power.
The Taliban moved into several cities in the country in recent weeks, culminating in the takeover of the capital city of Kabul over the weekend. The fall of the city triggered the collapse of the government as U.S. forces continued their planned withdrawal.
The Taliban is pushing to restore the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the formal name of the country under the Taliban rule before the militants were ousted by U.S-led forces in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, which were orchestrated by Al Qaeda while it was being sheltered by the Taliban.
President Biden addressed the nation Monday, saying he stands “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan after having a presence for 20 years, while admitting that the fall of the country to the Taliban “did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.”
The president, speaking from the White House, said his administration has been “closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Afghanistan,” and is moving “quickly” to execute the new plans put in place.
“I stand squarely behind my decision,” the president said. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way, that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”