Afghanistan capitol Kabul falls to the Taliban

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The country of Afghanistan is in turmoil after Taliban forces seized control of the capital, Kabul, over the weekend. This comes after two decades of American military presence in the country attempting to stabilize the area. So what does this change mean for the people of Afghanistan, and what can we do to help? We talked about it with Dr. Carl Forkner, Northern District Commander for Disabled American Veterans.

Dr. Forkner was actively serving during the September 11th, 2001 attacks. He was directly involved with several military operations in the Afghanistan area afterwards. When asked if there was a clear mission objective for the armed forces at the time, he said that there was.

“At that time, the mission was to seek out Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden and to cut off the head of the snake,” Forkner said. Over time that mission changed due to what Forkner describes as “mission creep”. This “creep” extended into attempting to form a democratic nation out of the country.

The veteran said that Afghanistan has been a tribal and provincial culture for “millennia”, something that makes the country very naturally opposed to single-statehood. Forkner said that the U.S.S.R. learned this in the 1980’s and that we unfortunately learned the same lesson.

Forkner also said that he thinks that the Afghani people are far from giving up. “I’ve known a few folks that actually served in the Afghan air force and I can tell you that they are not the kind of people to give up,” he said. “I see the problem as a lack of understanding of Afghan culture.”

 

Dr. Carl Forkner, Northern District Commander, Disabled American Veterans

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