Local veterans discuss Afghanistan withdrawal after serving in the country

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The President has promised to ramp up evacuation efforts in Afghanistan in the coming days. United States troops are leaving as the Taliban takes over.

Hollis Bush is a retired soldier who reached the rank of lieutenant colonel. He ran correction and detention facilities in Afghanistan.

He said, “Basically Taliban, Al-Qaeda, folks that we were holding in these facilities.

Bush described Afghanistan as a country, unlike any place he’s ever been.

He explained, “Their tribal leaders actually run their areas versus here we have governments, local governments, that run cities.”

For Bush, seeing the withdrawal is a hard pill to swallow.

He said, “We did our duty when we was there. Also, civilian leadership at this time is doing the best they can but we honorably served.”

Lowell Koppert is a former green beret. One of his jobs was to train Afghan soldiers.

“We are the good guys that come take care of the bully that’s picking on the little guy. And so we show up, we train the Afghans. We lead them into battle. We try to get them on their feet, advise them on how to continue that fight,” said Koppert.

President Biden believes the Afghan troops can move forward on their own. The Taliban has gained control of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul for the first time in 25 years.

“People falling out of the sky at 300 feet because they’re handing on the wheels of an airplane because that literally is their mindset. They feel that they’re dead already. As soon as they’re left, the Taliban is going to create genocide, which they probably will,” said Koppert.

America’s presence in Afghanistan is crucial for stability and U-S leaders need to take a different approach to manage our enemies, according to Koippert.

He said, “They’ve played the long game. They played the long game against the Russians in the 70s. We watched and were a part of it on the side of the Mujahidin and they’re playing the long game again. They’re just going to wait us out.”

Koppert added, “Anyone that’s out there right now that is watching the news and is outraged by what’s currently going on, I would say hang on to that rage and remember it. And take it to the ballots in November. Whether that’s a presidential election, whether that’s a local state election. Whether that’s congress or Senate, we need leaders that are willing to do and we need less lawyers that just want to argue.”

Bush is encouraging anyone who is distressed about the situation in Afghanistan to talk to somebody. Bush is the Senior Director of programs and services at Forces United in Augusta and says they have found constructive conversations to be a great benefit.

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