AFGHANISTAN || The US Will Give Shelter To All Its Afghan Interpreters
Joe Biden has promised that “we will leave no one behind . “ With just over two months to complete the total withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan, the US president has announced a plan that will mobilize, together with his men, about 50,000 Afghans who have worked for foreign forces , mainly in tasks of interpretation. The resurgence of the ever- advancing Taliban forces has put those who cooperated with foreigners in grave danger.
“They’re coming,” Biden explained during a conversation with reporters during a break. “We have already started the process. Those who helped us are not going to be left behind.” The leader, who recalled that they “risked their lives for us,” has offered details of the operation. It will include the relatives of the assistants of the international troops, who will be relocated in different countries. In total, an estimated 50,000 people will have a new home as a result of this widely demanded effort.
Concern for the fate of the interpreters and that of the other workers had grown in recent times, as the Taliban gained territory. So far this week alone, 53 districts have fallen into the hands of extremists . After two decades of Western training missions, massive injections of money into military training and equipment, and continued assistance, Afghan forces are falling apart with every effort. Many troops desert to the Taliban, along with their weapons.
According to US estimates, the Taliban, whose talks with the Afghan authorities are not progressing — officials in Kabul regret that Washington, setting a date for their withdrawal, deprived the Taliban of any incentive to compromise — totally control 81 of Afghanistan’s 419 districts . With the goodbye marked on September 11 of this year’s calendar, the Republican highest representative in the House of Representatives, Mike McPaul , admits that they are not in time to process so many visas.
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The alternative that presents itself for the Americans, according to McPaul, is to turn to other countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait to house the former Afghan aides. The operation “is going to involve a lot of planes,” he adds. An image that is already common in the skies of Kabul: dozens of flights, civilian and military, leaving the city and increasing the citizen’s feeling of abandonment.
Those left behind fear that the country is entering a new era of guerrilla warfare, where warlords, supported by one country or another, fight each other while the civilian population perishes. Those who are most afraid are those designated as “traitors” , who worked for foreign troops in the past. The interpreters from Germany, the Netherlands or Australia, all with less staff than the US, had denounced all kinds of bureaucratic obstacles to complete the process that would allow them to leave the country to a safe place. In some cases, according to Human Rights Watch, the authorities of the countries that are leaving with Afghanistan still at war demanded evidence to show that they were in danger.
All of this only increases the Taliban’s perception of having their victory to play. Overthrown by the United States and its partners after the attack on the Twin Towers, and after two decades of insurgency, the armed group signed an agreement with former President Donald Trump to stop cooperating with organizations such as Al Qaeda or the Islamic State in exchange for the withdrawal of foreign troops. Despite lingering doubts about whether this tie is really broken, the US has already removed half of its troops from the country.
According to US military sources, at least 650 of their troops will remain in Afghanistan to protect diplomatic personnel. Another small contingent will remain temporarily at the Kabul airport cooperating with the soldiers of Turkey, a country that will be in charge of the security of the complex despite the Taliban rejection. This Friday, in Ankara, Turks and Americans will negotiate the conditions of this deployment.
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Meanwhile, representatives of the Afghan government and other police forces, such as former President Hamid Karzai , travel to the White House in a cry of despair. “The international community came here 20 years ago with the clear objective of fighting extremism and bringing stability […] but extremism is at its highest point today. Therefore, they have failed,” said Karzai harshly, in an interview with the AP agency. This Friday it will be the turn of the Afghan leader, Ashraf Ghani , to meet with Joe Biden and ask him for something that Washington does not seem willing to offer. Referring to these meetings, a representative of the Taliban states: “It seems that this visit is more to prolong their power than to come up with a peaceful solution to the Afghan question. It is in the interest of the US to focus on a peaceful fit for the issue instead to reinforce a dying regime.”
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Originally published at https://zaviews.blogspot.com.