Interpreters in Danger as US Troops Leave Afghanistan

Interpreters in Danger as US Troops Leave Afghanistan

( – “War is hell,” as the old saying goes. Pulling troops out of a combat zone can be equally challenging, as the United States experienced in recent conflicts ranging from Vietnam to Iraq. Loose ends can build up, which is what the US is facing during the final push to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan.

The withdrawal of US personnel is moving along as well as can be expected. However, issues surrounding the continued safety of local translators who worked with US forces have arisen.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently confirmed the Biden administration plans on having all the translators safely relocated to locations outside of Afghanistan before the anticipated final withdrawal of US forces. Once they are safely moved, the translators can begin the arduous visa application process hoping they will be allowed to reside in the United States.

Washington has yet to completely sort out what third-party country or countries it will initially use to house the Afghan interpreters. Sadly, in the meantime, Taliban death threats are on the rise, and Afghanistan continues to destabilize as American troops abandon military installations.

Dire Consequences for Anyone Left Behind

CBS News recently spoke to one of those interpreters, Omid Mahmoodi. He risked his life on numerous occasions to support US efforts in Afghanistan. As he explained, the Americans he worked with clearly appreciated his assistance. According to him, many US military advisors told him he wasn’t just their interpreter, “from now on, you are [our] brother.”

However, he said time is rapidly running out for him and other Afghans that worked with US forces. If any of them are left behind, “we will get slaughtered by the Taliban.”

About 18,000 Afghan interpreters remain in Afghanistan. Transporting them safely out of the country will require the airlift of as many as 70,000 people, including their family members.

The situation in Afghanistan is becoming increasingly dangerous. Security in the country has recently degraded to the point that no one is safe from reprisal from the Taliban, and interpreters who worked with foreign forces top the target list.

On the plus side, a private organization called “No One Left Behind” (#NOLBMoralObligation) is working to help save US interpreters. It’s the only nationwide nonprofit group helping America honor its commitment to look after allies like the Afghan interpreters and their families who risked their lives to support American freedom efforts.

You can go to its website at for information on how you can help or make a donation.

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