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Civilian workers of other nations endangered in Afghanistan pullout

By: Keith Kappes
Columnist
Carter County Times

For at least the third time in the last 50 years, the United States is ending its participation in a war without a clear victory…and leaving behind countless numbers of its civilian allies to face the consequences.

We’ve been hearing and reading about the Afghans who served as scouts, interpreters and employees of American soldiers who were promised they would not be left behind to die at the hands of the Taliban.

A few hundred among thousands have been evacuated but the U. S. pullout by the end of August apparently will leave many to literally run for their lives if they cannot leave the country.

Various groups, religious factions primarily, have been fighting for centuries in that part of the world and many seem to take pride in the terror impact of beheading their enemies in public.

Similar acts of vengeance happened in South Vietnam when America left the battlefield and, in effect, turned the country over to the Communists. Ironically, that nation today is a major source of goods sold in the U. S.

As for the situation in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported recently on hundreds of civilian workers from the Philippines and other nations who worked for American and other contractors in that “forever war” now are stranded in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

Many are housed in a once-luxurious hotel where meals are provided by the Texas contractor who recruited them but says it is unable to send them home because of the Covid-19 impact on travel to other nations.

These people worked for private security contractors from mainly the poorest nations. The AP says they were not the “hired guns” but the “hired hands” who supported the American war effort. 

For most of the last 20 years, these individuals served as housecleaners, cooks, construction workers, servers, and technicians on the large American bases in that war-weary nation.

The contractors who brought them to Afghanistan – and made millions of dollars in profits from their labors – should be held responsible for bringing them home to wherever home happens to be.

Otherwise, the U. S. should never spend another cent with their companies or their executives.

Keith Kappes can be reached at keithkappes@gmail.com

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