Evacuation of Afghan civilian allies

Within 100 days American troops will depart from Afghanistan. Apparently the Defense Dept has no plans for evacuation of our civilian allies in the country.

A bipartisan letter from Congress says that the Biden Administration has failed to put in place a means for immediate transfer of some 18,000 Afghanistan citizens through an Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program.

The U.S. brought out 130,000 Vietnamese.

The New York Times reports that in the last three months of 2020 alone, State Department statistics show, 1,646 Afghans were denied one of the special visas, which are issued to applicants satisfying demanding requirements and rigorous background checks even though interpreters would already have passed security screenings. Among reasons cited for denial were the failure to prove the required length of service, insufficient documentation, failure to establish “faithful and valuable service” and “derogatory information.”

Nearly 21,000 visas were issued to Afghans from 2009 to March 2021, according to State Department figures. Just under 11,000 visas are still available.

John F. Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters on June 2 that the Defense Department had “put some planning resources” into a potential evacuation. He said that no evacuation had been ordered but that if a command came, “we will be ready to execute.”

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said late last month that it had temporarily increased consular staffing to help expedite S.I.V. applications amid rising demand and Covid-19 restrictions. Staffing has also been beefed up in Washington, where much of the application processing is completed, the embassy said.

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