Home / US / Top US military officers ready to ‘urgent’ evacuate Afghan interpreters if ordered

Top US military officers ready to ‘urgent’ evacuate Afghan interpreters if ordered



while the US forces Still withdrawing from Afghanistan Taliban warriors have captured dozens of deserted areas. in the past few days It raises questions about the fate of the 18,000 Afghan interpreters who risked their lives working for the US government.

A senior US military official told Fox News the American military is ready to evacuate them. But it’s not up to him.

“There are very rapid development plans here. Not just an interpreter but also other people Many who have worked with the United States,” said Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on US military aircraft, returning from the Royal Thai Air Force Academy Wednesday. “We have a moral commitment to people who help us.”

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Co-Chairman Mark A. Milley delivers his graduation address at the United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony at Falcon Stadium on May 26, 2021 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. By Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Co-Chairman Mark A. Milley delivers his graduation address at the United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony at Falcon Stadium on May 26, 2021 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. By Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

The White House pushed back.

I can tell you that we have no plans for an evacuation at this time,” a National Security Council spokesman said. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working on [special immigrant visa] Applications in Kabul They focus on ensuring that the system works quickly and complies with US security. and other requirements of the application”

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A spokesman for Gen. Milley clarified the president’s subsequent speech.

“Physical immigration of Afghans is an option for many that are being considered. And it doesn’t have to be the primary option to protect vulnerable Afghans,” said Col. David Butler. “Emigration is not imminent.”

The State Department operates a special immigrant visa program to move Afghan interpreters. Two years of faithful service

US Army Lieutenant Paul Worthington (left) listens to an interpreter while talking to the Afghan National Police about security issues during a visit to a national police checkpoint in the Jabal Saraj district of Parwan province, Afghanistan on Oct. 8. c. 2010

US Army Lieutenant Paul Worthington (left) listens to an interpreter while talking to the Afghan National Police about security issues during a visit to a national police checkpoint in the Jabal Saraj district of Parwan province, Afghanistan on Oct. 8. c. 2010
(DoD photo by Spc. Kristina Gupton, US Army)

“The Taliban does not discriminate. If I work for a year or two They will kill me just for working with Americans.” James Miervaldis said a veteran of the Army, which offers two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was three years to bring Afghan interpreters to the United States. He is the president of the non-profit organization No One Left Behind, a veterans group that helps interpreting Afghans resettlement in the United States.

no one was left behind It has recorded more than 300 interpreters and their family members killed since 2014.

The State Department evacuated and repatriated 100,000 Americans from around the world in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Some, like Miervaldis, suspect the same effort could be made to have thousands of Afghan interpreters and their families set up. New immigrants in the United States?

He shared a letter from an Afghan interpreter asking him to remain anonymous. On the dangers he faced: “The Taliban never asked if we worked with the US military. Less than two years, or more than two years… We enlist your help to save our lives… This is a terrible situation where we are left behind.”

Former President George W. Bush ‘Extremely concerned’ Afghan forces withdraw will create a vacuum

“D [Department of Defense] It might take two weeks before they just don’t have the manpower and equipment to do this,” Miervaldis added. Free all their prisoners and wreak havoc. You don’t even need a crystal ball.”

All US forces are expected to leave Afghanistan by early July, before the September 11 deadline set by President Biden.

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Nathaniel Johnson, U.S. Army Captain James Nelson, and Hader, Interpreter, talk to seniors in the Shorbak Desert, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, December 9, 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Phil Kernisan/Published)

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Nathaniel Johnson, U.S. Army Captain James Nelson, and Hader, Interpreter, talk to seniors in the Shorbak Desert, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, December 9, 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Phil Kernisan/Published)

“They are currently being hunted as we speak. They are reaching out to me. these interpreters in panic,” Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., said earlier this month. Waltz was the first Green Beret elected to Congress. which offers several tours in Afghanistan

The 20 U.S. senators, led by Jeanne Shaheen, DN.H. and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, wrote to President Biden last week asking for a speedy increase in visas to bring thousands more interpreters home.

“We are deeply concerned about the fate of these individuals following the withdrawal of US troops. There have been reports of Taliban threats aimed at US aides. When the troops were withdrawn These threats cannot be ignored.” the letter said

Rank member and chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee wrote a similar letter to Secretary of State Tony. Blinken last week

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Michael McCaul and Gregory Meeks said: “The United States has a moral obligation and national security interest to deliver on the promises we make to those who risk their lives to support our mission.”

“We recognize that it is very important to make sure we remain faithful to them. And we do what is necessary to ensure they are protected and, if necessary, get them out of the country,” Milley said.




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