BLUF: Several thousand Afghans, once employed by the Army, want to come to the UK, along with their extended families. Those who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq will probably have met, and maybe worked alongside, Afghans employed by us. These are mostly interpreters, with others carrying out a range of duties, from radio broadcaster to medical assistant to emptying wastepaper bins. The History Bit: In Iraq, as TELIC drew down it was clear that some Iraqis who worked for us would find themselves in the shit once we left. A scheme was developed to enable them to stay in Iraq, but to relocate - they were given money to stay. Not long afterwards, many decided that this was not for them, and that they needed to leave Iraq entirely - they were then granted the right to asylum in the UK, and many took advantage of this scheme (keeping the money they'd been given to relocate, of course). For HERRICK, some lessons of Iraq were taken on board. The main one of these was that all LECs were to be recruited in Kabul, many hundreds of miles from where they would work, reducing the chances of any intimidation to a minimum. This system worked, and over the last few years several thousand Afghans have worked for the UK Forces; sadly several have been killed, and many others have suffered a variety of injuries (and all were compensated for this). That said there has never been a shortage of willing recruits (without any advertising) and they have been well paid (around the same as an ANA Brigadier, and many, many times what an ANA/ANP/ALP recruit would receive. AFAIK, only a handful has claimed any form of intimidation, and of those only one or two have got a genuine case. Now, move to drawdown time. The UK's line is that those who worked for us should stay in Afghanistan and work to build their Country. This view is not necessarily shared by others; for example, the US are letting a few into the USA at a time. But this isn't about our allies - it's about what we do, the UK plc, with these men (there are one or two women, but 99.9% are male) when they claim that they are suffering as a result of being employed by us, and want us to do something about it. There is already a campaign to the effect that these brave men and their families must be allowed into the UK, and that we owe that to them for risking their lives for us. This tugs at the heartstrings (and also at the purse strings). Expect this to increase over the next few months, as lawyers and human Rights groups get behind this campaign. So, Ladies and Gentlemen of ARRSE, the question is this: should the default be that these men, and their families, be allowed to come to the UK, or should they be helped to stay on in their own country? You can probably tell which way I lean on this matter - I think they are, with a very few worthy exceptions, a bunch of chancers out to make as much as they can, then abandon their own country and heritage for the chance to make even more dosh elsewhere. For: - They've put their lives on the line Against: - They've been paid a VERY good wage, knew the risks, and took the money with their eyes open. - They did NOT do this for love of the UK HM Queen, etc. They did it for the money. They would have preferred to work for the Yanks (who paid more) anyway. - They have NO loyalty or even liking for the UK. Most will use UK asylum to move to Canada, USA, etc. - They were all recruited from Kabul, far far away from Helmand, thus reducing the intimidation risk. - There have been very few (under 10) claims of intimidation thus far, so is there a genuine problem? - We are talking of probably over 5,000 people, plus their families, so over 30,000 in total is quite possible. Thats a lot of Afghans even if most of the Males do at least speak English!