I hear “many” left-behind Afghans say they regret helping us

In an interview aired Wednesday on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” State Department Special Representative and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Afghanistan Thomas West reacted to an Afghan interpreter stuck in the country in saying he felt left out because he had done something wrong and shouldn’t have worked as an interpreter saying ‘We hear that kind of message from a lot of Afghans’ who fear for their lives and want to leave the country.

NPR aired a clip of an interpreter in Afghanistan saying, “I feel like I did something wrong, and that’s why I may be left behind.” Why did I help the US military? Why was I risking my whole life working like [an] interpreter? I feel like I shouldn’t have done that.

West replied, “It’s heartbreaking, Rachel.” And “We hear this kind of message from a lot of Afghans who fear for their lives and want to leave. I have personally served alongside many Afghans in Kunar, some of whom have made it through and others who have decided to stay or have not yet found a way out. I will tell you that, on a practical level, we are working day in and day out to try to identify practical solutions that will allow the modes of transport to be resuscitated outside of Afghanistan.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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