The US is preparing to evacuate up to 25,000 collaborators as it withdraws from Afghanistan, including interpreters, drivers, security guards, and clerks, among others, over fears they will be targeted for working with an occupation that has killed tens of thousands over the past two decades.
Speaking in Washington, DC, on Friday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he has not asked US President Joe Biden to delay the pullout of US troops despite a renewed Taliban offensive, and that other nations should “bet” on his government in Kabul and not the rebels.
Ghani traveled to the US with Abdullah Abdullah, chair of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Friday to meet with senior US officials ahead of the final withdrawal of the main US force in Afghanistan in the next two weeks.
“President Biden’s decision is a transformational decision that is going to have consequential results both for the people of Afghanistan and for the people of the United States in the region,” Ghani said.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that about 650 US troops would remain behind for security purposes at the US embassy and Kabul airport until as late as September, but that the rest of the remaining 2,500-strong US force would be out of the Central Asian country by July 4, citing an anonymous administration source.
The withdrawal is part of a deal engineered in February 2020 with the Taliban, an Islamist militant group that ruled Afghanistan for several years until be…