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House votes to evacuate more Afghan allies as US war ends

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The home voted overwhelmingly Thursday to let in thousands more Afghans who worked alongside the Americans in the Afghanistan war, citing the urgency of protecting those allies on the ground of Taliban retaliation as the US military withdrawal enters its final weeks.
The Florida Republican and Vietnam War Veteran Representative Neal Dunn conjured up the scenes of the US military withdrawal from Vietnam, which left many Vietnamese who had worked with US forces in fear of, and sometimes encountering, death. and arrest.
“We cannot do this again. We must not do this again. We must bring back … all the people who were so important to us in combat,” Neal said, urging his fellow lawmakers to vote for the bill. Of law. “Please don’t ever abandon friends in America again.”
The bill, from Rep. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat and former Army Ranger who fought in Afghanistan, allows an additional 8,000 visas for translators and others who worked with US government troops and civilians in Afghanistan. It also facilitates some visa requirements.
Currently, 26,500 of the Afghan special visas are allocated.
The Chamber approved the new measure 407-16, sending it to the Senate. All negative votes were Republican.
President Joe Biden decreed the end of the US military role in Afghanistan by September 11. That will close an American military effort that soon achieved its primary goal of crushing the Afghanistan-based Al Qaeda conspirators of the 2001 attacks on the United States The United States, but fought to suffocate Afghanistan’s former Taliban rulers and stabilize a government. elected based in Kabul.
The Pentagon says the US withdrawal is 95% complete and will be completed by Aug. 31.
The final weeks of withdrawal leave the Taliban apparently maintaining a “strategic momentum” in the fight for control of Afghanistan as they claim more rural territory and put increasing pressure on key cities, Army Gen. Mark Milley said, president of the Joint Chiefs of Staffhe said Wednesday.
The Biden administration says there are 20,000 applicants so far, half of whom have not completed the initial stages of review for visas. The United States is also allowing former Afghan employees to bring in close family members.
Rep. Tom McClintock, a California Republican, said the bill would add to what he said would be over-hasty screening and prosecution as the United States scrambles to get the Afghans out. He pointed out the security risks for the United States.
“We will not adequately screen arrivals under this program,” McClintock said.
Other lawmakers deemed it essential to future US military efforts to demonstrate that Americans would support local allies on the battlefield. Some urged the US government to open the door further to Afghans working with Americans.
“Don’t stop here. Let’s keep going,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas. “These are our friends.”
Some 70,000 Afghans have settled in the United States on special visas since 2008, Tracey Jacobson, director of the administration’s Afghanistan task force, told reporters on Wednesday.
Currently, the Biden administration plans to begin transporting 750 of Kabul’s most advanced visa-processing Afghans to the United States next week, along with their immediate family members, Jacobson said.
Those newcomers will head to Fort Lee, Virginia, for an expected seven to 10 day period to complete their processing, authorities said.
The administration hopes to process 4,000 former employees and their immediate families – people far behind in the process – on US bases in some other country before bringing them to the United States.
Qatar and Kuwait are among the latest countries to be mentioned as possible hosts, but US officials said this week they had no deals to announce yet.





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