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Middle East

Afghanistan experts: Biden must bring Afghan interpreters to the U.S. They can’t be left behind.

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Weeks after President Biden announced that he will withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, experts James Miervaldis and Simone Ledeen are calling for an airlift for all non-soldiers that helped in the U.S.-led war effort. They joined “The Sara Carter Show” on Thursday to discuss the urgent situation.

James Miervaldis is a board member of “No One Left Behind,” an organization dedicated to resettling interpreters after they’ve risked their lives informing U.S. troops. Miervaldis is volunteering for the cause because Congress isn’t moving fast enough, he says.

“Congress had appropriated roughly 10,000 visas at the end of last year,” Miervaldis said. But also, “had about 70,000 people in the queue.” Simone Ledeen agrees that these interpreters need the help of organizations like No One Left Behind.

Ledeen is a senior fellow with the Middle East Institute. She is also former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East.

“We’ve got 18 weeks to go,” Ledeen said, referring to the Sept. 11th deadline. “So it’s clear that they are not planning to meet the moral obligations that we have set out for ourselves in order to save these people from what’s coming.”

Many conservative politicians agree that the deadline is too soon.

For her part, host Sara Carter has spent months in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2008. Her work on Afghan women and children addicted to Opium garnered first place in Washington D.C. AP award. She embedded with troops on Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan and spent days with them while being mortared and shot at by Taliban insurgents hiding in the hillsides. She agreed with Ledeen and Miervaldis’s analysis.

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International

Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago

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The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.

The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57%  the preceding quarter.

The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.

592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:

They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.

Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.

Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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