COLORADO SPRINGS — The ending of America’s Longest War has brought mixed emotions from those who have served, along with American citizens. But what about those in Afghanistan? How has their country changed from the start of the war, twenty years ago, to now?
Afghanistan is a country that has lived through civil war, invasions, and periods of oppression. The Taliban was in full control of Afghanistan back in 2001.
But throughout the war, the U.S. Troops attempted to keep things at bay. Many Americans have lost their lives for us and for the American values that they believe hold true. And while we may not know exactly what these soldiers witnessed overseas, we know one thing, they cared deeply for not only our nation but for helping the Afghanistan citizens. And now that the U.S. has withdrawn out of war, one veteran is holding onto hope.
“I think the generational impacts on the Afghan people and the Taliban people that are there, it’ll make a difference….it won’t be as bad this time around,” said Lt. Col. Gary Kerr, a 23-year Army Veteran.
“The lens and how you look at it… it’s all hugely disappointing this is happening, it’s heartbreaking to see people we worked with on a daily basis, and to know that they’re going to live under something less than great, horrific in some cases…it’s hard to watch that…but as long as we know in our heart, we did what we could to the best in our ability, then every veteran should have great pride in what they’ve done.
Since 2001, a study done by Linda Bilmes of Harvard University’s Kennedy School and the Brown University Cost of War Project recorded data from the start of the war through April. It shows that more than 2,400 American service members were killed in Afghanistan. 66,000 Afghan Military and Police passed away and more than 47,000 Afghans were killed.
Now, today we see videos of Afghans attempting to flee their country, afraid of the Taliban’s rule this time around.