What about the Local Staff?

This is my first post and I write about a subject which I am sure is close to the heart of those who have served in Afghanistan, as well as many who have not.

Do you remember your ‘terps’ and local Afghan staff? We had some good ones, some went on to join the civilian stabilisation teams and stayed on in the FOBs which were handed over to the USMC. In such places the local staff continued to serve the UK. And as we know, many of them have been killed or injured over the years.

How is our government going to show its gratitude to them? I wrote to my MP who raised the matter with the Foreign Office (FCO).The answer, unsurprisingly, is that we are going to leave them to suffer the blood spilling when we get out. I received the usual FCO cold and timid letter assuring me that HMG would do all it could for those in real danger and that a local Afghan staff member needed to show that his/her life was in danger to the appropriate authority in Helmand. One of my local staff tried this and was told that he had nothing to be fearful about and must stay in Helmand. Is this how the UK treated the local staff in Iraq?

The reality is that when the UK leaves Afghanistan there is a real risk that many of our local staff and their families will be intimidated,attacked, and probably killed. I truly hope that transition will be the success we are told it will be; but surely we owe it to our local staff to protect them - that means offering them the opportunity to come to the UK. These people have served us and the UK, without them we could not have operated. What they did, and continue to do, is more than just earning a living – they served. And our government is prepared to gamble lives against the hope that all will be well in Afghanistan post 2014. Surely we are a better country than that? The United States and the Canadians are looking after their local staff, passports are offered for service.

So why am I writing? I ask that you also raise the subject with your own MP - the only way to change things is to raise the issue. Once we leave it will be too late and the outrage messages at the murders of Afghan local staff meaningless. I am sure there are many ways that this subject can be raised – perhaps the government is not even aware of the situation (civilservants usually do the thinking!) and all that is needed is for subject to have the potential for political embarrassment.

This is simply a case of asking a country to do the right thing. I would be interested in your views. Thank you to anyone who is willing to write to his/her MP in order to help avoid the kind of retribution carried out against Iraq local staff happening to out Afghan staff.
Leaving aside the ethics of this, if it becomes apparent that local staff are going to be left to their fates when we pull out, it's our guys who will have to cope with more ANA going apeshit. Which probably bothers the feckers in Main Building very little.
Once we leave, Afghanistan will be one big happy country again, with it's own forces in charge of it's own security. It will be a land of milk and honey.

Everyone will be safe, happy and properous while living in a country free from corruption.

The post was brought to you courtesy of some very serious drug misuse.
Suspicious lack of spacing aside, it is a good point. I have worked with Afghans who will probably be able to take care of themselves in whatever post GiROA nightmare the country becomes after we get out of dodge but I also know some whose entire families will be merrily slaughtered. Do we really have the right to SNLR such folk in the casual manner we tend to?

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