Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Senate Turned Its Back on American Allies in Afghanistan - huffingtonpost

On Tuesday the Senate passed their version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) without an increase in visas for Afghans who supported U.S. troops in battle. The problem is that these allies of the U.S. military were already promised refuge in America if they were threatened, and they and their families are now being targeted for their faithful service.

Debate on the more than 500 amendments to the annual spending bill was blocked, and the visa increase was left out of the final version. This was the wrong decision; one that disrupts our ability to fight the enemy effectively, and puts the estimated 10,000 Afghans and their family members awaiting visas in a tremendously perilous position.

Thousands of local Afghans worked alongside U.S. troops by translating for them, helping work with local populations, and providing intimate on-the-ground knowledge of villages and cities. They were, in the words of Senator McCain, “essential to battlefield success”.

In exchange for a year of their faithful service to the U.S. government, they were promised visas for themselves and their families, and refuge in America if they were targeted by the Taliban or other groups. This simple agreement helped the war effort, and claimed bipartisan support in Congress.

But this year’s NDAA deliberations in the House didn’t include an increase in visas to continue bringing over the 10,000 Afghans that are still being processed. Without any increase in total visas and with new restrictions for applying, the program is basically defunct for those already in line.

The Senate version wasn’t much better. Senator Chuck Grassley blocked visa additions in the Senate Armed Services Committee markup last month. And without amendments, the 85-13 vote closes the door on the program during these negotiations.

There will be drastic implications without a well-functioning visa program for our military allies.  

Moreover, the top American commander in Afghanistan endorses the program.  

Senators McCain and Shaheen lead the bipartisan effort to preserve this vital program through the end of 2017, increase the number of available visas, and save the lives of American allies and their families. The amendment was going to taken up individually, but was halted when Senator Mike Lee objected and wanted a vote on his own amendment as well.

The opposition argued that there are possible security risks with resettling these Afghans. - Read More 
The Senate Turned Its Back on American Allies in Afghanistan

Afghans Are Furious Trump Blames Them For American Terrorism


Post a Comment

<< Home