On this Episode we bring you a special roundtable discussion about the war & withdrawal in Afghanistan. This is part 1 of a 2 video series. Pulling from a diverse group of military members, we cover a lot on this episode. Our in-studio guest is Robbie Hugland, who served with the Air Force as an Electronic Warfare Operator in Afghanistan.
This is his second appearance on our Podcast, so if you haven’t listened to the first one, check it out! Sean joins us via Zoom, and served with the Army as a Human Resources Officer in-Country in Afghanistan. He talked to tons of soldiers coming in and out of Afghanistan & was privy to high level operational conversations at the Officer level. Nathan also joins us via Zoom. He is a Marine and served as part of an Infantry Scout Squad that was on the front line for two separate Afghan deployments.
We get a diverse range of opinions on everything from Afghan mission creep, did we miss an opportunity to taking out Osama Bin Laden earlier, our military rules of engagement, life at a forward operating base (FOB), the life of the FOBBIT, and how our withdrawal could have been handled. We also discuss whether or not we should have left a long term stabilizing force in Afghanistan for the next 100 years?
2:00 – We learn about the history of each of our guests, and listen to some on-the-ground experiences while in Afghanistan. We also cover the CULTURE shock of being in country.
22:28 – How did you feel about going into Afghanistan after the attacks of 9/11?
32:16 – Should we leave Afghanistan and say ‘it is what it is’ -OR- should we leave a stabilizing force in the country?
37:45 – (Robbie) Why were we even there in the first place? What’s the value of an airfield that we control in Afghanistan? What is Mission Creep? Would it surprise you to learn that we could have been out of Afghanistan WAY sooner than you could have ever imagined? Did Bush (W) & Dick Cheney MISS their opportunity to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden earlier?
52:40 – (Nathan) What’s your opinion on leaving or staying? Nathan shares that one of his primary missions was to convince farmers not to grow poppies, so we can control the drug money being funneled to the Taliban. The main objective of being there was to control drugs for quite a long time. Poppy seeds, opium, and agriculture of illegal drugs accounts for MOST of Afghanistans GDP.
1:10:55 – Not all military people think alike. There are a lot of misconceptions out there that, once you become a soldier, whether it be the Army, Marines, Air Force, or Navy, you become one of the same. We’re here to tell you that’s not true, and we have some excellent examples. Soldiers & Veterans do NOT have a monolithic or standard opinion on politics.
1:19:28 – We gave the Taliban a TON of equipment. What do you think they are going to do with it? Are we in store for another 9/11? Did we make a massive mistake? Will the Taliban and Al Queda being fighting us with our own weapons in some future war?
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