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With Iraqis who worked for the United States under threat inside Iraq and out, the Center for American Progress is calling on the incoming Obama administration to "act quickly to remove them from harm's way."

The liberal Washington think tank, which was founded by Obama transition co-chairman John Podesta, issued a paper this week citing a "moral obligation" to protect Iraqis "who risked their lives in service to the United States in Iraq." It urges the immediate evacuation of the up to 100,000 Iraqis it estimates has worked for the U.S. military or other American organizations in Iraq.

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"Because of bureaucratic red tape, current U.S. policies do not adequately address the security concerns of U.S.-affiliated Iraqis," Natalie Ondiak and Brian Katulis write in an executive summary. "The Obama administration should initiate an immediate airlift – Operation Safe Haven Iraq 2009 – of U.S.-affiliated Iraqis in need of protection as the best course of action for urgently addressing this problem."

Their proposal, which we referred to last month, involves transferring the Iraqis and their family members to a U.S. military base, possibly in Guam or Kuwait, where they may be processed for resettlement to the United States in safety. The United States currently has slots for 25,000 Iraqi former employees over the next five years.Ondiak and Katulis cite airlifts of Kosovar Albanians in 1999, Iraqi Kurds in 1996 and South Vietnamese in 1975 as precedents. They acknowledge what they describe as "legitimate concerns" about such an operation, and then attempt to address them:

They prescribe a six-step process:

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