National program focuses on ending the war in Afghanistan and the reaction of veterans
COLUMBUS, Georgia (WTVM) – As President Joe Biden announced his intention to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the end of August, there has been a lot of talk about the end of this 20-year war – among the former fighters in the Chattahoochee Valley and in national broadcasts.
“With Afghanistan, there were bad guys there, let’s go get them,” LTC army combat veteran (Ret) Al Ahuja said.
Retired Lt. Col. Alfonso Ahuja has spent his share of time deployed in war zones in the Middle East, part of his 20-year career in the military. From a citizen’s perspective, this vet – who lives in Columbus GA near Fort Benning – says he’s happy that the “boots on the ground” component of the war in Afghanistan is ending two decades later.
“It’s time to turn the job over to the Afghans and allow them to rise to the challenges and focus on moving on to the next big thing,” Ahuja said.
Greta Van Susteren, chief national political analyst at WTVM’s parent company, Gray Media, devoted the last episode of her weekly Sunday news show, “Full Court Press” to the near end of this war which has cost the lives of nearly 2,500 Americans. She invited me to the program – which is accessible to 85% of American households – to give my take on the war in Afghanistan, for which I reported on the very first deployments from the Home of the Infantry.
“Jason Dennis has been covering Fort Benning and the surrounding area for 20 years, I asked him what he heard from the community of Fort Benning,” Greta Van Susteren said in her show’s introduction.
As part of my analysis on “Full Court Press” I discussed the reaction of local veterans, with some saying it’s time to go and we’ve been here long enough, we’ve lost enough lives and we cannot be the babysitter of the world.
“There has to be an exit strategy, it can’t go on forever. There is a cost to the economy, a cost to families, ”Ahuja said. “There was a lot of support behind it on the way out of 9/11. “
Army combat veteran Ahuja tells us that Afghanistan has a long history of foreign occupation, but none has succeeded in bringing about major changes. He says there have been a lot of lessons learned there, with decades of American soldiers using weapons in mountains, caves and tunnels as well as helicopters in all kinds of weather conditions.
“Keep improving the capabilities, the technologies that can work, we’ll see them again. If it worked against us, people take note, people who don’t like us, ”Ahuja added.
He says the US military has also taken notes to prepare for the next threat or future war.
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