EXCLUSIVE: An Afghan army officer who provided intelligence to a U.S. special operations general says he is being hunted by the Taliban and has asked his former mentor for help to flee the country.
“I fear my killing and my family because of being of assistance to the U.S. military forces,” the officer told the Washington Examiner. “The Taliban are searching house by house for the Afghan allies of the U..S and will kill their family members too. The situation is very dangerous, and I and my family are in danger.”
The officer conducted major military operations to drive back the Taliban under the command of Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc between 2005 and 2007 in some of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan. He belongs to an ethnic group targeted by the Taliban and has siblings in high-profile jobs, making his situation extremely precarious, he said.
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“I ran away from my house. Every moment that the Taliban search house by house [they could] find me,” the officer said. “I liked living in my country, but when there is not any hope to live, I must leave, and I hope the U.S. can help us.”
The officer’s sister, who has corresponded with the Washington Examiner, said: “We spend all day in fear and trembling, and we have no support for the grief in the current situation in Afghanistan. I wish we were never alive.”
A wave of Afghans have attempted to escape as the Taliban’s draconian rule swept across the country the past few weeks. Since Aug. 14, about 105,000 people — including Americans — have been airlifted out of Kabul while thousands more wait, according to news reports.
Interpreters and other integral U.S. partners have flooded the State Department with requests for visas, which largely have been unanswered. This has prompted military advocates in Congress, such as Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Mark Green, to start their own programs bypassing the red tape so Afghans who assisted America can be rescued.
Buldoc said he has received numerous pleas for help, including this officer, and has forwarded them to Cotton’s office. On Thursday, he sent a letter of recommendation for the officer who helped him.
FILE – In this April 20, 2016, file photo, United States Special Operations Command Africa Commander Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc pauses while speaking to members of the media outside the U.S. Embassy in N’Djamena, Chad. Bolduc is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the Sept. 8, 2020, New Hampshire primary election. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Andrew Harnik/AP
The officer “provided substantive, actionable intelligence that aided the United States military in conducting operations in Afghanistan through photographs and information reports of multiple adversarial insurgent and hostile forces in southern areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran,” Bolduc wrote. “[He] did this despite great personal risk to the lives of himself and his family, and due to his unwavering support and loyalty to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.”
Bolduc said the fastest way to get them out would be a private company that does evacuations. He hopes the family can be taken to Pakistan.
Ultimately Green’s office helped the officer’s family by working until the early morning hours to get the application processed with the State Department.
Meanwhile, the officer’s sister said her family quit their high-profile jobs, and they are hunkered down in a safe house. Taliban killings have happened nearby, and sometimes they hear the sound of gunfire outside.
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“We have a life of full stress. I fear a knocking on the door,” she said. “In this sensitive and dangerous situation where we feel death every moment, our only hope is you.”
The State Department said that its commitment to at-risk Afghans does not end on any specific date. “The Biden administration has demonstrated, in the face of significant challenges, its sacrosanct commitment to the thousands of brave Afghans who have stood-by-side with the United States over the course of the past two decades.”
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Tags: News, Afghanistan, Refugees, Taliban, National Security, Foreign Policy, Immigration
Original Author: Tori Richards
Original Location: Afghan intelligence officer asks US general mentor for help escaping the Taliban