‘It’s a problem ex-Afghan fighters are fighting for Russia,’ but Biden was right to have the ‘courage’ to step down

On Tuesday’s “Katy Tur Reports” show on MSNBC, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) said that while “it’s a problem that ex-Afghan fighters are fighting for Russia” in Ukraine, “President Biden finally had the courage to understand ‘we couldn’t work with Afghanistan and we had to pull out.

Host Katy Tur asked: ‘I want to ask you about an op-ed written by a US Special Forces soldier who fought in Afghanistan, he wrote this op-ed in The New York Times, and he says the Afghans he trained to fight are now fighting for Putin in Ukraine. “We should have seen it coming,” he says. “We abandoned our closest partners en bloc: what choice did the commandos have left?” … If they fight for Russia, their families could live in better conditions, they might win [the] $1,500 recruitment [incentive,] and they could gain Russian citizenship. Do you have a response to this editorial? »

Smith replied, “Absolutely. Listen, there is no doubt that this is an issue that Afghan veterans are fighting for Russia. But the idea that if the United States continued to spend billions of dollars and lose countless American lives, wounded, injured and killed in Afghanistan, that that would be the right strategy, I guess I would ask anyone who, would we like to have US troops in Afghanistan fighting and dying and would that make a difference? We’ve gone 20 years, I forget how many trillions of dollars, over 4,000 lives lost, and we haven’t gotten to where we wanted to be in Afghanistan. We had no partner in the Afghan government to work with. If we had stayed there, we would be worse off and we would have lost more American lives and we would still have chaos in Afghanistan. And I hope people understand that. Look, the ideal scenario is that we would have stayed in Afghanistan, it would have been a peaceful place to work with. But after 20 years, President Biden finally had the courage to realize that was not going to happen and that it was time to step aside, which is admittedly not an easy situation. But then again, would we really rather be back in Afghanistan right now, fighting and dying unable to achieve our goals? I think the answer to that is clearly no.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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