U.S. Deploying Additional Troops to Support Relocation of Embassy Staff and Allies from Afghanistan
August 12, 2021
Contact: Timothy Young | firstname.lastname@example.org | 443-257-6310
Washington D.C. – The State Department and Department of Defense confirmed today that the United States will temporarily send an additional 3,000 military personnel to Afghanistan to provide security as it evacuates some personnel from the U.S. embassy in Kabul, as well as 1,000 service members to Qatar. Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby noted that troops will also be involved in accelerating the processing and movement of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants.
The relocation of embassy staff comes as the Taliban makes significant advances, with U.S. officials estimating the Afghan government could fall within 90 days. The deteriorating security situation is unfolding as the U.S. executes “Operation Allies Refuge” – an effort to relocate thousands of Afghan interpreters, drivers, support staff, and other allies who run the risk of Taliban retribution as a result of their faithful service.
The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service – a national refugee resettlement agency that advocates for and welcomes Afghan allies through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program:
“We are grateful that there are assurances of relocation of Afghan allies alongside American civilians, though it is unfortunate this urgency has only been spurred months later by a dire security situation.
It is paramount that we now see a clear plan for relocation of allies from the administration before the security situation further deteriorates. We remain concerned that Afghan allies will be evacuated to Qatar, a country that is not a signatory to the refugee convention and does not assure freedom of expression or movement.
The easiest and most efficient way forward is to move allies to U.S. territory. The U.S. has already welcomed 1,200 allies and family members through Fort Lee, Virginia, and Guam remains a viable and historically reliable staging ground for processing.
Anything less than a full evacuation of all allies and their family members in danger would be an abdication of our moral responsibility.”