The former general joins the battle and brings the endangered Afghan interpreter to Canada
Three prominent former task force commanders from the Afghan War in Canada have issued an urgent appeal to the Minister of Immigration to restart the resettlement plan for local interpreters working with soldiers and diplomats.
Retired major generals Dennis Thompson, Dean Milner, and Dave Frazier wrote an open letter in which they warned as many as 115 former translators and their families that they were still in the war-torn country and obtained the Taliban After major progress, they are in danger.
“If they are found, they may be imprisoned or worse, because they serve to support our mission,” said the letter released late on Thursday, and CBC News obtained a copy.
“Many Canadian veterans have connections with the Afghans who served with them, and their stories are heartbreaking. These people are seen as’comrades in arms,’ and their plight is affecting these veterans-all Canadians should be the same.
The letter was sent to Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration. A few days ago, a key area in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province fell into the hands of the Taliban, where Canadians fought most of the fighting.
These three generals served as commanders of the Canadian ground campaign at various times from 2006 to 2011-the then Conservative government withdrew from combat forces and focused its military efforts on training the Afghan army and police.
The generals pointed out that according to the previous resettlement plan from 2009 to 2011, 780 Afghan interpreters and their families were brought to Canada.
However, according to figures compiled by the Canadian News Agency, the plan has restrictive criteria, which means that two-thirds of Afghans who applied for asylum were turned away.
Applicants must prove that they are at great risk due to working with Canadians. Being a local “terp”-as they say-is undoubtedly a dangerous job. They faced threatening calls and letters, promising to kill and disfigure their families. There are stories of kidnapping and even hanging.
To qualify for the old program, these consultants must prove that they worked for the Canadian military, diplomats, or contractors for 12 consecutive months between October 2007 and July 2011. This excludes a wide range of interpreters. Canada deployed special forces to Afghanistan for the first time in the fall of 2001; another battle group was formed in 2002; then it performed missions in Kabul, and then returned to Kandahar in 2006.
Since the United States and NATO withdrew most of their forces last month, the Taliban have made significant progress, including the clearing of major US bases in Bagram outside of Kabul.
In an interview with CBC News, Milner said that for those serving in the Western military, including Canada, the situation is terrible.
“The Afghans are fighting, but the government seems to have no way to defeat the Taliban,” said Milner, who was the last task force commander in 2011 and continued to lead the Canadian military training mission. Kabul.
“The Taliban have money. It has a fear factor, and they are persuading the Afghans to join them. Now, they have the motivation.”
Milner said he believes that the Afghan army will be able to stop the insurgents in certain areas of the country (but not all areas), which is why restarting the resettlement plan must be a priority for the Liberal government.
“All other NATO countries are doing this,” Milner said. “The Americans are doing this. The Australians are doing this. They are successfully bringing interpreters out. I know this is a fact. I think Canada needs to stand up and do the same.”
He added that the Liberal government has shown compassion and speed in resettling Syrian refugees and later White Helmets.
“I don’t think we can wait too long.” Milner said.
The appeal of the former generals came after other Canadian veterans publicly expressed their concerns over the weekend.