Yesterday, per the Washington Post, I criticized the Biden administration for having no plan in place to evacuate Afghan interpreters, translators, and others who provided similar services to the U.S. in the struggle against the Taliban. These folks, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us in the war on terrorism, are bogged down in a visa application process that, according to the Post, is woefully inadequate. Thus, they were likely to be stranded in Afghanistan when, as seems inevitable, the Taliban conquers that country.
Now, however, Politico reports that the U.S. is planning to evacuate thousands of interpreters and translators from Afghanistan. They will be moved to safety while they await the processing of their visa applications. According to Politico, the U.S. government has identified a group of these applicants already in the special visa pipeline for lift out of the country.
Is the scope of the government’s plan sufficient? Rep. Tom Malinwoski (D-N.J.), a leading advocate of large-scale evacuation, isn’t convinced of that. And even if we evacuate all of the interpreters and translators, it’s likely that the Taliban will massacre a great many Afghans who sided with the U.S. but did not provide these kinds of services.
Nonetheless, I’m glad to learn that, perhaps in response to criticism from the Washington Post, the Biden administration seems to be moving in the right direction on this matter.