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Afghan Interpreters, Others Fast-tracking to Canada

The Bread Guy

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ukraine stepping up where we do not
Interesting excerpt from the article, about 1/2 way in ....
... Two previous efforts, planned by the Canadian military before its departure from Kabul airport, failed to get Mr. Sharaf’s group into the airport, as did another attempt organized by the U.S. State Department. Those operations had relied on the Afghans and their families being able to reach designated meeting points near the airport gates, which proved impossible amid the chaos outside the facility, where thousands of Afghans have congregated in hopes of being airlifted out of Kabul, which fell to the extremist Taliban on Aug. 15.

The Ukrainian operation succeeded where others had collapsed because the Ukrainian military deployed special forces troops into the city on foot to conduct the rescue ...
 

The Bread Guy

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Where Canada stands on The Big Board of reported evacuees so far (source - article last updated 0906E/1306UTC today)
Screenshot 2021-08-30 124203.jpg
 

Good2Golf

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…perhaps trying to catch the horses after they bolted from the corral, i.e. try to be seen to be doing something substantive now, given the horrendously unfocused government effort over the last several weeks.
 

The Bread Guy

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Maybe or maybe was in the works as a condition of getting folks out for us.
…perhaps trying to catch the horses after they bolted from the corral, i.e. try to be seen to be doing something substantive now, given the horrendously unfocused government effort over the last several weeks.
... or maybe something somewhere in between.
 

daftandbarmy

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Strangled by red tape.... a familiar theme, sadly:

Why Canada failed to rescue 'a hell of a lot more' Afghans, according to former generals​


The Liberal government could have evacuated many more Afghans from the troubled region had it streamlined its cumbersome bureaucratic process and maintained a stronger military and diplomatic presence, former top Canadian military commanders and experts say.

While the Canadian government was able to evacuate more than 3,700 people from Kabul, the number should have been "a hell of a lot more," said retired major-general David Fraser, who commanded more than 2,000 NATO coalition troops during Operation Medusa in the Afghan province of Kandahar in 2006.

"The international world was surprised by the speed at which the Taliban took over. And [the Canadian government] applied the bureaucracy they had for normal operations," Fraser said.

Fraser, along with retired major-generals Denis Thompson and Dean Milner are all volunteering to help extract Afghan interpreters from Afghanistan.

They are all former task-force commanders of Afghanistan, and have blamed government bureaucracy for gumming up the system and creating obstacles for Afghans trying to flee the country.

Those Afghans include former interpreters and support staff as well as their families who are now at risk of Taliban arrest or worse for having worked with the Canadian military and other organizations.

 

Retired AF Guy

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I can imagine Canadian SF gritting their teeth awaiting our politicians to make up their minds.

I think Trudeau/Butts/PMO had their minds made up right from the beginning: "Take it slow, don't take any unnecessary chances - we don't want any soldiers getting killed/wounded just as a Federal election has started."

My 2 cents..
 

The Bread Guy

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Looks like there may have been a bit of a turnaround in the U.K. - this from the Home Office there ...
A significant cross-government effort is underway, dubbed ‘Operation Warm Welcome’, to ensure Afghans arriving in the UK receive the vital support they need to rebuild their lives, find work, pursue education and integrate into their local communities.

As part of the New Plan for Immigration, the government announced that those coming to the UK through resettlement routes would receive immediate indefinite leave to remain, and today (September 1) the Home Secretary has announced that this will apply to Afghans who worked closely with the British military and UK Government in Afghanistan, and risked their lives in doing so, meaning they can now stay in the UK without any time restrictions.

People already relocated to the UK under the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) will be able to apply free of charge to convert their temporary leave into indefinite leave. This will give Afghans the certainty and stability to rebuild their lives with unrestricted rights to work and the option to apply for British citizenship in the future ...
Can't tell yet what's happening to those who got letters saying they're a security risk.
 

The Bread Guy

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Looks like more than one government sat on this one :cry: - text also attached, in case link doesn't work, IAW the Fair Dealing provisions of Canada's Copyright Act
Afghan employees of Canada’s embassy in Kabul had urged Ottawa in 2012 to set up a special immigration program because of the risks they faced working for the Canadian government. But it took almost a decade for such a program to be implemented in July of this year, as the Taliban were already on an offensive sweeping through Afghanistan to power.

(...)

A government letter between two deputy ministers, which was obtained by The Globe and Mail, showed that Canadian embassy staff in Kabul asked in 2012 for a special immigration program “in recognition of the dangers they face in Kabul as a result of their employment with the Government of Canada in Afghanistan.”

If the program had been implemented nine years ago, the chaos of trying to rapidly evacuate staff after the fall of Kabul could have been avoided, according to a former senior employee of Canada’s embassy in Kabul who shared the letter with The Globe. The Globe is not identifying the individual because they still have family members stuck in Afghanistan ...
Woulda, coulda, shoulda ...
 

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The Bread Guy

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Also in this morning's MSM ....
"Canada’s envoy left Kabul in July as Taliban advanced and stranded Afghan staff sought Ottawa’s help"
The Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan took time off in mid-July as Taliban militants were sweeping across the country and former Afghan employees of the embassy in Kabul were begging for help to get them and their families to safety in Canada.

Reid Sirrs, who is now in Ottawa but remains envoy to Afghanistan, went on leave because he needed to take a short break from the stress of working in a dangerous country, Global Affairs said Wednesday.

(...)

A senior government official said the decision to allow the envoy to temporarily leave Kabul as the Taliban advanced across Afghanistan was made by senior bureaucrats at Global Affairs. It never crossed the Foreign Minister’s desk, said the official, whom The Globe is not identifying because they were not authorized to speak on the matter ...
Text also attached in case link doesn't work, IAW Fair Dealing provisions of Copyright Act
 

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CBH99

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ukraine stepping up where we do not
Absolutely fantastic job of the Ukrainians! I had no idea Ukraine even had military forces deployed to Afghanistan in support of NATO's efforts, let alone were evacuating citizens & contracted workers of various NATO countries out of the airport after our own evac flights stopped.

Those Ukrainian troops really stepped up executing this operation, especially after most NATO countries have wrapped up their evac flights - but to adapt & accommodate them so quickly once they arrived in Ukraine just pushes what they did even more 'above & beyond'.
Absolute respect for them, reading that article.


Strangled by red tape.... a familiar theme, sadly:

Why Canada failed to rescue 'a hell of a lot more' Afghans​

While the Canadian government was able to evacuate more than 3,700 people from Kabul, the number should have been "a hell of a lot more," said retired major-general David Fraser, who commanded more than 2,000 NATO coalition troops during Operation Medusa in the Afghan province of Kandahar in 2006.

"The international world was surprised by the speed at which the Taliban took over. And [the Canadian government] applied the bureaucracy they had for normal operations," Fraser said.

Fraser, along with retired major-generals Denis Thompson and Dean Milner are all volunteering to help extract Afghan interpreters from Afghanistan.
Those Afghans include former interpreters and support staff as well as their families who are now at risk of Taliban arrest or worse for having worked with the Canadian military and other organizations.

If Fraser steps up & gets things done in regards to this matter, it would really help me to respect him more.

Not that he is a bad guy or anything - he seems relatively nice in his interviews, and the two times I met him. But he wasn’t the right person for that job, at that time - and in my own humble opinion demonstrated poor leadership and poor performance in his role. (My own opinion is all.)


Woulda, coulda, shoulda ...
we woulda had a lot less people to evacuate if we had relocated them almost a decade ago when we said we would.

we coulda done it, but we didn’t have any motivation or incentive to. They had served their purpose, had no real way of forcing us to honour our agreements, and were very easy to screw over by essentially just ghosting them.

we shoulda relocated them shortly after our combat mission ended, with their immediate families. (We already had the information handy at the time, and we already had their locations and contact information as they were imbedded with our troops. Granting them a special visa would have been easy as hell.)



sorry, I know I’ve said the above before
0.02
 

suffolkowner

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Apparently Canada isn’t the only nation that screws it’s own:

The future can not be good when there are so few examples of basic leadership and moral authority not just in the business world or Canada but the malaise has infected the entirety of western democracies
 

The Bread Guy

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Couple of interesting tidbits - highlights mine ......
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is urging the Canadian government to help find a safe third country to land charter flights stranded at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport in northern Afghanistan, including people with Canadian travel documents.

The Democratic senator, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been working with NGOs and veterans groups to get two flights carrying about 705 people out of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Among those awaiting passage out of Afghanistan on the two charter planes are nine people with Canadian exit visas and a permanent resident of Canada. They were unable to board evacuation flights from Kabul and made the dangerous trek to the northern city ...
For David Lavery, the fall of Afghanistan comes with a soundtrack of men yelling, women weeping and babies wailing — all coalescing into a din of despair that echoes in his mind.

That cacophony surrounded him in the days after the Taliban took the Afghan capital, as the former soldier walked the perimeter of the Kabul airport searching for the Canadians and Afghan allies he was tasked with evacuating.

A founding member of JTF2, the elite counter-terrorism unit of the Canadian Forces, Lavery now operates a private security company, Raven Rae Consultancy, in Kabul. As a soldier for more than two decades, Lavery was no stranger to the devastation of war zones. But the crush of humanity fleeing the Taliban stunned him.

"It's horrible and hard to process. There was a constant hum, a 24/7 of noise, desperation and panic," said Lavery, recounting the chaos of the rescue in a Zoom interview from a hotel in Frankfurt, Germany, just days after he himself was airlifted to safety. "It was all about survival." ...
 
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