Congressman, in Park City, addresses Afghanistan: ‘How could we let this happen?’ |

Congressman, in Park City, addresses Afghanistan: ‘How could we let this happen?’

Blake Moore describes anguish, frustration, bewilderment with the collapse of government

Freshman Republican Congressman Blake Moore watched the collapse of the government of Afghanistan and the evacuations from that nation’s capital of Kabul and questioned how such a scenario could play out after nearly 20 years of U.S. presence there.

Moore, whose 1st Congressional District includes Park City and surrounding Summit County, addressed the events in Afghanistan during a stop at Kimball Junction on Friday. He also spoke about the situation in an interview with The Park Record.

“I just felt anguish. It’s like there’s frustration. There’s bewilderment. Ultimately it just came down to, like, anguish,” he said in an interview. “How could we let this happen? How could it have gotten to this point and what is going to happen with these people? Those are what I, like, think about as an American. … When it’s all said and done those are the concerns I have.”

He also said Congress has a role to play in the investigation into the events there. As a congressman, he said, the fall of the Afghan government made him want to “find a way to dig in and understand and figure out what happened and what went wrong.” Moore said there is a “sense of duty that … we have a role to play here” as he talked about Congress.

“What intelligence did you review that made you feel so confident that this wouldn’t happen? That’s the question I have,” he said as he described what he wants to learn from the Biden administration. “Because I believe that the intelligence was there, and has the push and the rush to go through this withdrawal process, was it based off of a ceremonial timeline. … And I’ve been consistent on that well before all of this happened, way back in April.”

The ceremonial timeline he mentioned is the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, which led the U.S. into war in Afghanistan during the administration of President George W. Bush. Moore on Friday prior to the stop at Kimball Junction introduced legislation that would require a report delving into the intelligence received by the president in the months before the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“I want to be able to understand and hold the decision-making accountable on what mistakes were made, and learn from it,” he said, describing what he sees as “the big ultimate goal.”

He also said the U.S. is “dealing with the acute issue of we’ve got to get, make sure, that we create some security.”

More than 60 people attended the town hall-style event, which was held at the Richins Building and was one in a series of similar gatherings scheduled throughout the 1st Congressional District. It was at least Moore’s second public appearance in the Park City area in two months, following a stop on Main Street during the Independence Day celebrations. Moore, seven months into his term, has seemed to court Park City and Summit County more so than his predecessor in the district, the retired Rep. Rob Bishop.

The crowd on Friday seemed to include a mix of political leanings. The 1st Congressional District is heavily Republican, but Summit County, one of the state’s only reliably Democratic strongholds, is an outlier, and Moore and Bishop before him have struggled to win support in the county.

Moore during the event briefly touched on the Parleys Canyon Fire that struck along Interstate 80 and forced evacuations in the Snyderville Basin in the days before the Friday appearance. He said he was in contact with Summit County officials. He described the Park City area as an “amazing community” as he talked about the response to the blaze.

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