The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is nearly complete, with about half of the final contingent of 3,000 or so troops headed home in preparation for the mission’s conclusion on Sept. 11. As time grows short, the U.S. is facing a moral imperative: to rescue — in an orderly, safe and timely fashion — the Afghans who served closely alongside Americans during the 20-year war.

To understand the plight of these Afghans, look at what happened in South Vietnam in 1975, after the fall of the country to the Viet Cong. U.S. partners were often executed or imprisoned and “re-educated.” Their families suffered gravely. Washington must avoid that grim eventuality repeating itself.

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