They have been branded “traitors” by the Taliban, which has said for years that it will kill any Afghans working for the NATO-led coalition.
With the majority of U.S. and NATO-led troops set to leave the country in 2014, many Afghans working in support positions look ahead with trepidation.
Their fears appear to be well-grounded.
Scores of Afghans working for foreign military forces have already been targeted by the Taliban. On November 14, in the latest such killing, the Taliban shot dead two Afghan interpreters working for NATO troops near Kabul. Their bodies were left next to their cars. There have been other killings and many others have received death threats warning them to quit their jobs or face a similar fate.
One U.S. initiative is called the Afghan Allies program. It was created in 2009 in a bid to boost the number of visas available to Afghan workers employed by the U.S. government. It has allocated 7,500 spaces for Afghans and their families to emigrate to the United States over five years. But so far, only 293 cases have been processed. And since 2010, only 31 cases have received the green light.
To be fair, the US has to process these claims carefully, so as not to import someone only pretending to be with us. But who’s going to help us in the future if we discard past sources like so much goat poop?
Obama can’t get out of Afghanistan fast enough—can’t say as I blame him—yet his shortsightedness leaves many people (collaborators, women) in grave peril. I’m not sure I do, but does anyone else care?