DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Earlier this week, U.S. troops fully withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving the Afghan people vulnerable to the Taliban once again after 20 years of conflict.
Veterans all over the Wiregrass have mixed emotions about the abrupt withdrawal and its effects, but one local veteran who served in Afghanistan says this decision to withdraw from the country has caused the United States to already see significant loss.
“Pulling out as fast as we did and what’s happening right now, to me is a disgrace as a veteran that’s lost a lot of buddies over there, blood, sweat, and tears,” Staff Sgt. Brandon Bagwell said. “With the money spent, we’ve already lost multiple U.S. Military properties that we’re not going to get back.
Bagwell says a drawdown like this is typically done in phases, but with the hasty departure, there were a lot of factors that were overlooked.
“This drawdown was suppose to be done in phases and it started to be done in phases like it should have, but then the phases stopped and just did an immediate withdrawal without adequate intel,” Bagwell said. “I do not believe they factored in the resistance and they did not factor in the withdrawal of the Afghan forces.”
And with the years of work crumbling in Afghanistan, those who served there might question if the time the U.S. spent there in general.
“I have mixed emotions about it because of how much time I spent there and how much time I spent away from my kids,” Bagwell said. “It’s kind of like was it even worth it? I believe it was, but I know a lot of people won’t see it that way.”