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Tags: Afghanistan | Allies | Translators | Immigration | Southern Border | Biden Administration

Chad Robichaux: Abandoning Allies Is Current American Policy

Chad Robichaux: Abandoning Allies Is Current American Policy
Lance Cpl. Ajmal Achekzai, 26, who was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and served as a translator for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit talks with two Afghan locals December 10, 2001 at the perimeter of a patrol base in Southern Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. Joseph R. Chenelly/USMC/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 09 August 2021 01:25 PM

After more than 20 years in Afghanistan, we are finally withdrawing. I know we have been there too long when both my son and I have been there as Marines fighting in the same war.

I don’t believe anyone in the veteran community is contesting if we should finally leave. Rather, the debate is how we should leave from a position of military strategy, and whether or not we are leaving in a moral way that upholds who America is as a nation that will honor our Afghan allies that fought shoulder to shoulder with us for two decades.

As a Force Recon Marine, I was privileged to be part of a Joint Special Operations Command Task Force (JSOC) serving alongside the most incredible special operations warriors for hundreds of operations over eight deployments; so many incredible men whose courage and bravery cannot even begin to be captured in words.

Among those men, some of the most heroic were our Afghan teammates, who served as interpreters, cultural advisors, and fellow warfighters pursuing a free Afghanistan and believing in America’s role to eradicate jihadists that threatened the lives of both Afghans and Americans.

As the current administration calls our military home, we are leaving most of our Afghan teammates behind, and as the Taliban advances in taking provinces the threat to theirs and their families' lives increases.

Out of fear for survival their own neighbors and friends are identifying them to the Taliban. Our allies are receiving death threats, and, in some cases, executions have already taken place.

Many veterans like myself are fighting to get their Afghan brothers safe and are now taking matters into our own hands to get them out and safe despite the government abandoning them.

For me, I am committed to getting “Bashir” (not his real name for safety) and his family safe and out of Afghanistan.

I personally supervised and worked with Bashir in Afghanistan during combat operations as both my interpreter and a critical operations team member on eight separate special operations deployments to Afghanistan as part of a JSOC Force.

He is not only responsible for saving many American lives to include mine personally on more than one occasion, as well as the lives of my friends, and for the overall success of hundreds of JSOC missions capture and killing high-value terrorists; he was the key Afghan in our clandestine operations.

Outside of my task force, he served the US in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years on special projects. He was highly vetted and even regularly polygraphed.

I lived in this man’s home, ate dinners with his family, played soccer with his kids, and personally observed him prove his loyalty to us as his teammates, America, and his stand against terrorism.

I can tell you dozens of stories, but one that highlights his courage a rescue mission.

Four Navy SEALs found themselves stuck in a Taliban-infested village and needed an unconventional extraction so as not to compromise their mission and risk the lives of themselves and other US service members.

Without a thought of his own safety, he quickly came up with the plan we trusted, and he drove me and two other team members in the middle of the night, hours into enemy territory, to extract the SEALs and save lives and protect the integrity of a very critical operation. He is an American hero, yet he’s not yet an American.

Since the US has announced withdrawal, the Taliban has identified him as working with special operations and made threats to kill him and his family, he has been on the move with his wife and kids relocating daily to stay safe.

He has tried over and over to get out, but for years the SIV process has been broken and now the embassy is closed “due to Covid.”

We must get him and his family out of Afghanistan, or they will be killed due to his service to America. It is because of this that my former teammates and I have come up with a plan.

We pulled together $80,000 to move Bashir and his family out of Afghanistan and to a country where we can get him safe and get him access to an embassy where we can process his SIV with the help of some incredible members of congress, mainly Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler.

Nearly 80,000 Afghans served with us, and 20,000 of them embedded with us as interpreters, but the SIV (Special Immigrant Visa) process, US State Dept. SIV 602(b) Afghan Allies Protection Act allows for 26,500 Special Immigrant Visas (4,000 was added in 2020) and none was added by The White House after announcing a September withdrawal of our troops.

In early July the House passed a bi-partisan bill Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act (H.R. 3985) to add approximately 8,000 more SIVs, but we still need the president to act on this. All we have heard is that 700 Afghans and their families were moved to Virginia a few weeks ago, which is rumored to be that these were the CIAs Interpreters.

In any case, what the media is saying we are doing and what is happening is not the same thing. On the ground in Afghanistan, our allies in the SIV process can’t get help because the embassy office in Kabul has been closed since early June due to Covid.

We are letting tens of thousands cross into the US through the southern border with no idea who they are. Total strangers are granted free access to America and all her blessings, yet men who bled and fought with our warriors will be thrown to the wolves.

The Biden administration must correct this injustice by delivering our Afghan allies out of the hands of the Taliban and into safe nations.

In the meantime, many like me will be taking matters into their own hands to do the right thing to save the lives of those who saved ours.

Chad Robichaux is a former Force Recon Marine and DoD Contractor with eight deployments to Afghanistan as part of a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) Task Force, a former professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Champion, Chairman of the FBVSA and is the president and founder of the Mighty Oaks Foundation.  He is also a Surrogate and National Board Member for the Veterans Coalition for Trump.

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The Biden administration must correct this injustice by delivering our Afghan allies out of the hands of the Taliban and into safe nations.
Afghanistan, Allies, Translators, Immigration, Southern Border, Biden Administration
Monday, 09 August 2021 01:25 PM
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