In the chaotic last hours of the Vietnam War, the United States evacuated thousands of South Vietnamese who supported the American mission and were in danger under the leadership of the Communist government.
As the U.S. and NATO forces face the September 11 deadline Leave AfghanistanMany people are recalling that desperate and hasty evacuation while urging the Biden administration to evacuate thousands of people. Afghans working as interpreters Or in other ways to help the US military operations there in the past two decades.
Although the U.S. Congress received unusual bipartisan support, the government did not agree to such a move and refused to publicly support things that might undermine the security of Afghanistan because it ended a war that began after the war in Afghanistan. 9/11 Attacked New York and Washington, DC.
“We have a moral obligation to protect our brave allies who risked their lives for us. We have been trying to engage with the government and make sure there is a plan for months, but there are few concrete results,” Republican Rep. Peter Major, the governor of Michigan, said at the U.S. House of Representatives hearing last week.
Legislators urged the government to consider temporarily relocating Afghans working for the U.S. or NATO forces to Safe overseas location When processing their U.S. visa. Some people suggested that Guam is a US territory, and it had similar uses after the Vietnam War. After the Gulf War in 1996, Kurdish refugees were also airlifted to the Pacific islands.
The Governor of Guam recently wrote to President Joe Biden that Guam is ready to help if needed.
The Biden administration is currently focusing on accelerating a special visa program for Afghans operating in the United States and investing resources to ease the backlog.
“We are processing and evacuating people at a record speed,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday. “We are now working with Congress to simplify some of the requirements to slow down this process, and if necessary, we are undertaking extensive planning for potential evacuation.”
Zalmay Khalilzad, State Department Special Representative For the reconstruction of Afghanistan, legislators were warned in May that “all educated Afghans leaving” would “send a signal of panic” and damage the morale of the country’s security forces.
“This is a delicate and complex balance that we must maintain,” Khalilzad said.
Rep. Jason Crow, the Democrat of Colorado, recently introduced a piece of legislation that would nearly double the number of visas available this year to 8,000 and relax eligibility requirements.
But he said that Congress’ actions were not rapid enough or adequate.
Even if the legislation is passed immediately, the number of visas is far below the estimated 18,000 Afghans waiting to be processed. This number does not include their spouses and children, they will bring the total to about 70,000.
The average waiting time is more than three years. This process was also hindered by the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the US Embassy in Afghanistan to suspend visa interviews in mid-June.
Crow, a former Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan, said that he prefers the government to “evacuate our Afghan partners to a temporary evacuation site, where we can safely carry out effective visa processing without being subject to the Taliban’s safety of applicants. Threats”.
In a statement this month, the Taliban promised not to attack those who serve the interests of the West, but stated that those who cooperate with NATO troops “should regret past actions and should not engage in such activities equivalent to treason. “. Islam and the State”, the organization said in a statement.
It urged Afghans to stay in the country and warned their teams not to commit retaliatory killings.
Despite this, many Afghans still urgently need visas. They fear not only from the Taliban, but also the violence of heavily armed warlords allied with the United States. Now is their last chance to leave Afghanistan.
This U.S. withdrawal In February 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement to exclude the Afghan government after 18 months of negotiations. Biden ordered the final withdrawal to begin on May 1, when the number of U.S. troops was between 2,500 and 3,500, and may be completed as soon as July 4. All international forces, including 7,000 NATO troops, will be withdrawn on September 11.