Senator Biden says NATO countries may host US Afghan allies while Biden withdraws troops.
A US legislator has proposed enlisting the cooperation of NATO member states in resettling Afghans who backed the international military operations in their country but now fear retaliation from foes as foreign troops leave for the first time in two decades.
Senator Angus King of Maine said in a statement sent to This website that “given that we are less than three months away from our formal exit from Afghanistan,” “I believe we need to consider all of our options to do so with care, caution, and concern for those who served alongside usâ€”especially taking all actions we can to move Afghan translators, guides, and lookouts out of harm’s way.””
The Pentagon has already suggested possible airlifts to get these individuals and their families out of Afghanistan, where Special Immigrant Visas, or SIVs, are suffering from a severe backlog due to the sheer number of Afghans who served in positions such as interpreters for the US-led coalition but now seek to leave their home country.
However, many others, like King, one of only two independent senators in the United States (the other being Vermont’s Bernie Sanders), believe that the procedure is insufficient because of the uncertainty surrounding it.
“Wherever we can process a visa quickly and bring people to the United States, we should,” King added. “However, in cases where the amount of applicants or the complexities of their processing cause the process to be delayed, I believe we should examine locations outside of the continental United States that are safe for them to wait for the Special Immigrant Visa procedure to be completed.”
“Working with our NATO friends who served with us in Afghanistan could be one consideration,” King continued.
As of late August, some 10,000 personnel from 36 NATO member states and partner countries were stationed in Afghanistan, and King claims that countries other than the United States “benefited from the operations of these local Afghans” who served in support roles.
As a result, he believed the rest of the coalition owed it to them to assist them as they exited Afghanistan.
“It seems logical to me that [other NATO members]would assist us in resolving the situation that they may be facing,” King added. “They might be the Guam of the Pacific, where the US has made identical applications. This is a condensed version of the information.