Veterans group calls for accountability for entire 20 years of war, not just last 20 days
ARLINGTON, Va.—Following the completion of the military phase of the evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies from Kabul, Afghanistan, Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Senior Adviser Dan Caldwell issued the following statement on behalf of the organization:
“American service members, just as they have continuously over the last 20 years of war, performed admirably under difficult circumstances during the military evacuation from Kabul. Thirteen of them – eleven Marines, a Navy Corpsman, and an U.S. Army soldier – gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. We as a nation should be grateful for the service and heroism of these warfighters.
“Like with any military operation, there should be a thorough after-action review of how the evacuation from Kabul was conducted and there should be accountability for any legitimate failures during the execution or planning of this mission. But this review should not be confined to just this last phase of the conflict. The American people deserve and demand accountability for the whole 20 years of America’s war in Afghanistan, not just the last 20 days.
“It would be unfortunate if members of Congress use upcoming hearings on Afghanistan solely as an opportunity to score political points against members of the opposite party. Over the coming months, Congress has a chance to conduct a thorough review of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan and reassert its role in matters of war and peace in a way that helps ensure we pursue a better American foreign policy going forward.
“Congress should, in particular, take a hard look at the actions of high-ranking military officers and civilian leaders of both parties who routinely misinformed the American people about the state of the war in Afghanistan. Some of these individuals – such as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley – were involved not just in planning the final phase of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but also the conduct of large parts of the 20 year war.
“It is paramount we do not ignore the lessons of our two-decade long war in Afghanistan. If we do so, it will be inevitable that America will once again find itself sending its son and daughters to die in nation-building conflicts that are not in our interest.”