With today’s news that the US will withdraw all of its forces from #Afghanistan by September 11, we must begin the immediate evacuation of our Afghan wartime allies (interpreters, engineers, aid workers, etc.). When we leave, the Taliban will slaughter our friends with impunity.
When collapse occurs in Afghanistan, it will engender a rapid evacuation that, given Afghanistan’s unique place in the world and our geopolitical relations with its neighbors, must occur via air.
There are four, maybe five airfields in all of Afghanistan that will be able to handle the airlift needed to rapidly evacuate our own personnel and absolutely must have equipment.
Our Afghan wartime allies — without whom we couldn’t have accomplished any of what we’ve done thus far and thanks to whom many of us are still alive — they and their families will likely be our lowest priority for the scarce seats available on the few flights out.
We have to understand, anyone who worked with us, has likely excommunicated themselves from the society around them thanks to that work. They are viewed by that society as American spies, traitors, and in the worst case, apostates.
We have an obligation to save these people while we can - which is now.
In 1975 and 1996 we evacuated our Vietnamese and Kurdish allies, respectively, to Guam where they lived, in safety, while their permanent visa applications were processed through the system. We should do the same now, while there’s still time and we still can.
Our Afghan wartime allies live in fear that each day might be the day that the Taliban and their hit teams catch up with them and their families. Many live in hiding. We can save these people. All we have to do is have the courage and conviction to do the right thing.
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