Pittsburgh-area lawmakers, Duquesne University expert, talk about crisis in Afghanistan

All eyes are on Afghanistan right now as the Taliban has once again seized power there, with many wondering how did this happen?

After a two-decade long war, two weeks before the United States was set to complete its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban stormed the country seizing power.

John Sawicki, director of the Center for International Relations at Duquesne University said he believes there were signs over the last couple of years that things weren’t going so well there

“Generally I think we could say there has been a wholesale collapse of the situation in Afghanistan,” he said. “The perception that Americans were pulling out quickly and not utilizing their full military intention, even in a support capacity, and I think that caused many of the locals to shift allegiances extremely quickly.”

And now Sawicki says the US needs to respond, get the Americans who are there out, and ultimately deal with a colossal humanitarian crisis as the Taliban may impose harsh Islamic law. 

This after thousands of Americans already lost their lives driving out those insurgents.

“The fact that the plug got pulled on this in such a dramatic fashion, so quickly, with such little attention perhaps to the consequences, is going to make everyone think twice about what its like to risk your life in these situations,” Sawicki said.

The situation is earning intense criticism from Pennsylvania politician Sean Parnell, a Republican running for the US Senate.

A statement from him reads in part “as someone who spent 485 days in combat in Afghanistan and was wounded in action, I believe it’s long past time to bring our troops home, but Joe Biden has completely failed to properly execute the withdrawal.” 

Channel 11 caught up with his challenger, Democrat Conor Lamb, also a veteran and incumbent congressman, during a dedication for a local fallen solider killed in Afghanistan. He briefly addressed the situation, saying, “we don’t take territory from other people, we go overseas and fight because were trying to do the right thing, and the events of the last several days have shown that we don’t always succeed, we certainly are not perfect but our hearts are in the right place.”