U.S. To Evacuate Afghans Who Aided American Military
By Jason Hall
July 14, 2021
The White House confirmed "Operation Allies Refuge" will begin with flights out of Afghanistan scheduled for the final week of July and available first for special immigrant visa applicants who are already in the process of applying for U.S. residency, the Associated Press reports.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki refrained from specifying how many Afghans were expected to be part of the evacuation process during the initial flights or where they would be taken due to security concerns.
“The reason that we are taking these steps is because these are courageous individuals,” Psaki said. “We want to make sure we recognize and value the role they’ve played over the last several years.”
Last week, President Biden announced the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31, ending the nearly 20-year war.
“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build,” Biden said in a speech on Thursday (July 8) via the Associated Press. “Afghan leaders have to come together and drive toward a future.”
President Biden stressed "speed is safety" and justified the decision to end U.S. military operations despite the Taliban making rapid advances in significant areas of Afghanistan.
The Biden administration has repeatedly aimed toward ending the conflict of what the president concluded as an "unwinnable war" and one that "does not have a military solution."
“How many more, how many more thousands of American daughters and sons are you willing to risk?” Biden said to critics calling for the U.S. to extend its military operation in Afghanistan. “I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan, with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.”
President Biden reiterated that he does not trust the Taliban, but is putting his faith in the Afghan military to defend the government.