Killeen veteran weighs in on U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan
To the Editor:
As our ungracious exit unfolds live on all media; many have reflected on our methodologies in war. The U.S. Quid pro Quo policy of pouring money into nations to have them tolerate the U.S. military, build bases, and establish so-called spheres of influence is outmoded in all countries save Japan, Ukraine, and Korea.
All the other countries of the world where the U.S. maintains a military presence love American dollars ($1.2 trillion in Afghanistan alone), but hate the American occupation in the form of a military presence and a haven for contractors earning 6-digit figures at U.S. taxpayer expense.
In three years of combat (Balkans, Central America, and Iraq) I have obediently backed successes and failures as ordered by my superiors. Meanwhile, many former and present generals lied to us for years regarding the preparedness of the military forces of Iraq and Afghanistan — when in fact they were never even close.
None of our military leadership proposed a viable timetable or an exit strategy from neither Afghanistan nor Iraq. It is not amazing, therefore, to note that those two countries have been unable or unwilling to stand up on their own in 20 years. Neither has credible military leadership nor a government that can take control of their respective countries. This is because one cannot buy the faith or will of a people for in exchange for instilling current American values of sexual confusion, endorsed violent rioting in the streets, and abortion. Foreign military of any kind in these countries — no matter how benign or well wishing — will always be seen as outsiders or an invading force of westerners.
The solution to issues in Iraq and Afghanistan did not come from a truly silent Arab League that has a great deal of financial backing from OPEC (banked the 9/11 attacks with 23 out of 27 people involved in those attacks from their country) and shares an ethnic background with those communities.
The money and lives lost will live in our memories (I did memorial services for 14 in Iraq) and hopefully teach us a lesson we learned at a great cost in Vietnam but herein repeated. It is this: that if a country does not want a democracy on U.S. terms — let us simply leave. Or better still; follow the Chinese and Russian lead of not spreading our military all over the world attempt to clone nations in our own image.
Arrogance and pride need not be obstacles to accepting that the U.S. attempted its best (in close to 20 years) and now must transfer the reins back to the Iraqis and Afghanis — for better or worse as these nations decide.
As a soldier, when we leave occupied territories, I am not offended. It was an honor to serve the nation.
Also, many of us vets never had problems with the U.S. leaving; or us returning home (Depression or other psychological issues) from a combat area until many so-called veteran organizations told us we should, and then proceeded to medicate us to death rather than listen to us and teach us how to cope with our feelings.
President Biden was right in pulling us out from Afghanistan. Not doing so from a fortified military airfield was a problematic decision that with many others will be the subject of numerous writings and debates for years to come.
At this point, the U.S. should worry more about the nation’s porous borders, internal security, the racial divide, and the wellbeing of our citizens without further bankrupting America with expenditures abroad.
Retired major, U.S. Army