A former Marine in Afghanistan says the US should keep its word and protect Afghan translators.
Thousands of Afghan translators and interpreters are anxiously seeking visas to the United States, afraid for their lives as the Taliban retakes significant swathes of the South Asian nation amid the gradual withdrawal of American soldiers, according to a Marine who served in Afghanistan.
Approximately 18,000 Afghans who worked as translators, interpreters, and other jobs for the US military have applied for visas to migrate to the US. While the White House and the Department of Defense have taken substantial steps to evacuate many of these people and their families, their fates remain uncertain as the Taliban’s hold on Afghanistan grows.
“They saved lives,” Travis Horr, a Marine from Washington, D.C., told CBS station WUSA 9. Horr served in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011. “America must uphold its end of the bargain and ensure that these individuals are safe.”
The interpreters, according to Horr, were “integral” to the military’s mission in the country. “They also served as our cultural advisers to the Afghans. They had institutional knowledge of the prior units in Afghanistan that we replaced, and they briefed us about all the different interactions with tribal leaders or rivalries they might have to provide us with additional context,” he added.
Former President Donald Trump’s government struck a peace accord with the Taliban in late February 2020, which called for the full withdrawal of US troops in 2021. When President Joe Biden assumed office, he pledged to withdraw all US forces from the country and bring the country’s longest-running conflict to a conclusion. He did, however, extend the deadline by a few months, and the withdrawal will now be completed by August 31.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has taken control of a growing portion of the country. The Afghan government, which is backed by the United States, has mostly failed to halt the militant group’s march. Some analysts in the region believe the government in Kabul will fall within six months of the pullout being completed. As a result, Afghans who supported and worked for US operations in their country are concerned about their safety.
On Friday, CNN reported on the whereabouts of a former US Army interpreter. This is a condensed version of the information.