The Lawfare Podcast: Rep. Seth Moulton and Matt Zeller on Securing Visas for U.S. Partners in Afghanistan

Jen Patja, Bryce Klehm, Seth Moulton, Matt Zeller
Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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The United States is quickly approaching its September deadline for a full military withdrawal from Afghanistan. As the U.S. completes its withdrawal, many Afghans who partnered with the U.S., serving as translators and interpreters, face the danger of severe retribution from the Taliban.


Those who partner with the U.S. military can obtain a special immigrant visa, or SIV, through the U.S. State Department, but many lawmakers and veterans' groups are concerned that the U.S. is running out of time to approve SIVs for its Afghan partners. To help make sense of it all, Bryce Klehm sat down with Congressman Seth Moulton and Matt Zeller. Rep. Moulton is a representative from Massachusetts who served as a Marine infantry officer in Iraq and who is also a member of the Honoring Our Promises Working Group, a bipartisan group of lawmakers calling on the Biden administration to protect the U.S.'s Afghan partners. Zeller is a Truman Center fellow and host of the Wartime Allies podcast, who served as a combat advisor with Afghan security forces and who is also the co-founder of No One Left Behind, a veterans' organization that provides services to former Afghan and Iraqi interpreters who resettle in the United States.


They covered a range of issues, including the risks that current and former U.S. partners in Afghanistan face, the obstacles in the SIV process and a potential evacuation of U.S. partners to Guam.




Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Bryce Klehm is a first year law student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a former associate editor at Lawfare.
Rep. Moulton is a representative from Massachusetts who served as a Marine infantry officer in Iraq and who is also a member of the Honoring Our Promises Working Group, a bipartisan group of lawmakers calling on the Biden administration to protect the U.S.'s Afghan partners.
Matt Zeller is a Senior Advisor with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Co-Founder of No One Left Behind, a Truman National Security Fellow, and an adjunct fellow at the American Security Project.

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