In fighting a war for more than a decade in Afghanistan, U.S. troops have relied heavily on interpreters in navigating danger zones and speaking clearly to a population caught up in the violence.
These interpreters are not just robots, translating Pashto or Dari into English. They have served as the eyes and ears of U.S. soldiers, effectively taking America's side in the war, facing similar risks of death and dismemberment. They have ridden in the same convoys and walked in the same alleys.
We find it incomprehensible that the State Department is dragging its feet in providing these interpreters with U.S. visas. These courageous Afghans face retribution from the Taliban. They fear that, after the withdrawal of U.S. forces next year, they will be sought out and killed. According to a dispatch from Kabul by The Washington Post's Kevin Sieff, a growing number of these interpreters are being denied visas because the State Department says there is no serious threat against their lives.