Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., has long advocated for a plan to evacuate the nearly 18,000 Afghan interpreters, allies and their families from Afghanistan before the full withdrawal of U.S. troops. He told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that President Joe Biden‘s speech Thursday represented a step in the right direction.
“This was a huge win today, for all of our Afghan friends and allies,” said Moulton, a Marine who served four tours in Iraq. “For the last several weeks, I have been asking for three things, in particular, from the [Biden] administration: a detailed plan, a commander to be in charge of it, and a commitment to see the mission through, and today the president mentioned all three of those.”
Moulton noted that the president did not specifically name a commander, and that he’d like to see the specifics of how the U.S. will “get Afghan interpreters from far-flung, rural parts of the country to a central evacuation point.”
Biden announced the U.S. military will complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31, nearly two weeks earlier than his deadline of September 11. He reaffirmed in his speech that the U.S. will “continue to make sure that we take on the Afghan nationals who work side-by-side with U.S. forces,” and that the U.S. has “already dramatically accelerated the procedure time for Special Immigrant Visas to bring them to the United States.”