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National Security Leader Rick "Ozzie" Nelson Statement on Plans to Evacuate Afghan Allies

June 24, 2021

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Stacey Hutchinson

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Council on National Security and Immigration (CNSI) leader Rick “Ozzie” Nelson released the following statement in response to the news that the Biden administration plans to relocate thousands of Afghan interpreters and others who assisted U.S. troops and interests in Afghanistan:

“This is a positive step. Evacuating Afghans and their families who risked their lives to help U.S. troops is a moral and national security imperative. We must act to protect Afghans who assisted the U.S. as interpreters, advisors, security personnel or embassy clerks, among other roles.

“We urge the Biden administration to secure agreements with third party countries as soon as possible to prevent any longer delay in evacuating our Afghan allies. The administration also should consider Guam as a possible staging site.

“As we wrote in a letter to President Biden in May, if we are unable to keep our Afghan partners safe, it could discourage individuals from helping the U.S. in future conflicts. It could also empower terrorists to exploit our partners disillusioned by a sense of U.S. abandonment. 

“We look forward to more specific details from the Biden administration on the timing and plans to evacuate our allies and also on the promise to expedite the current visa backlog.”

CNSI leader Rick “Ozzie” Nelson is available for interviews. Nelson is a former Director of the Office of Combating Terrorism, National Security Council staffer and U.S. Navy helicopter pilot who served in Afghanistan. Please contact Jill Jackson at with requests.


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