Afghanistan Special Rep. West: I’m Hearing ‘a Lot’ of Afghans Who Got Left Behind Saying They Regret Helping U.S.


    During an interview aired on Wednesday's broadcast of 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 saying he feels he was left behind because he did something wrong and shouldn't have worked as an interpreter by stating that “We're hearing this kind of message from a lot of Afghans” who are afraid for their lives and want to leave the country.

    NPR played a clip of an interpreter in Afghanistan saying, “I feel I did something wrong, and that's why maybe I'm left behind. Why did I help the U.S. Army? Why was I risking my whole life being in a job as [an] interpreter? I feel I shouldn't have done this.”

    West responded, “It's heartbreaking, Rachel.” And “We're hearing this kind of message from a lot of Afghans who do feel in fear for their lives and want to leave. I personally served alongside many Afghans in Kunar, some of whom have made it out and others who've decided to stay behind or haven't yet found a way out. I'll tell you that, on a practical level, we are working day in and day out to try to identify practical solutions that will get modes of transportation out of Afghanistan resurrected.”

    Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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