Inside Story

How will the US protect its collaborators in Afghanistan?

Thousands of Afghans who assisted the United States are concerned for their safety as US forces prepare to withdraw.

For nearly 20 years, thousands of Afghans have risked their lives to work with US troops, in what became America’s longest war.

But that war is coming to an end, at least from a US perspective, and it’s leaving those Afghans feeling more threatened by the prospect of Taliban attacks as the US troop withdrawal approaches.

Now President Joe Biden says those who have helped the US will not be left behind.

Interpreters, drivers, cooks and others have already been offered to apply for a Special Immigration Visa.

But approvals have been slow and a recent coronavirus outbreak at the US embassy in Kabul has delayed them even further.

As many as 18,000 applicants with at least 50,000 family members have been waiting for their documents to be processed.

They will now be relocated to a third country until their visa applications come through, that announcement was made by the White House on Friday.

So, will they have a future in the US or will they continue to live under the threat of the Taliban?

Presenter: Kamahl Santamaria


Arzoo Amiri – Former interpreter for the US Army in Afghanistan

Lawrence Korb – Former Assistant Secretary of Defence and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

Victoria Fontan – Professor of peace studies at the American University of Afghanistan