Veterans groups call on Biden to finish evacuations of Afghan allies
A coalition of U.S. veterans and advocacy organizations wrote a letter to President Biden on Monday calling on him to ensure that Afghan military allies are safely evacuated out of Afghanistan.
The letter was signed by nearly 50 groups and led by Kristofer Goldsmith, CEO of the veteran-owned intelligence firm Sparverius.
In their letter, the groups requested a meeting with Biden as American personnel and Afghan allies are being evacuated from Taliban-controlled Kabul.
Read our Coalition Letter to @POTUS supporting our Afghan allies here:
— Kristofer Goldsmith (@KrisGoldsmith85) August 23, 2021
“We are thankful for your recent announcement that evacuation operations will continue beyond the original August 31 deadline if necessary, but remain concerned about the fate of our wartime partners,” they wrote.
“Failing to meet our obligations to these Afghans would not only be a national security risk — harming America’s reputation abroad and eroding the trust in our armed forces that is critical for future operations — it would also condemn veterans and survivors of the conflict in Afghanistan to a lifetime of moral injury,” they continued.
The letter says the groups seek a meeting with Biden to discuss the safe evacuation of citizens, allies and partners, ending the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, securing the Kabul airport and routes to it, granting parole status to at-risk Afghans without visas and funding refugee resettlement agencies.
The letter was signed by organizations including the Military Order of the Purple Heart, No One Left Behind, Vietnam Veterans of America and The Lincoln Project.
Though the Taliban have pledged to grant amnesty to those who worked with Western-backed forces, reports have come out of Taliban fighters going door-to-door seeking Western military allies.
“We’re going to do everything — everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted if — because of their association with the United States,” Biden said in an address last week.
The Taliban on Monday rejected Biden’s suggestion of extending the Aug. 31 evacuation deadline.
“If the U.S. or U.K. were to seek additional time to continue evacuations — the answer is no. Or there would be consequences,” a spokesperson for the group said. “It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction.”