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‘Disaster… bigger than Saigon’: US Afghan war veteran who lost both legs slams Biden’s ‘horrendous’ exit strategy in RT interview

The way the American troops withdrew from Afghanistan was “a blunder on a worldwide scale” that made many Afghan war veterans feel “let down” and “angry,” Gabriel E. Martinez, a veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps and lost both of his legs to a mine blast in Afghanistan, told RT.

This is a disaster. This is bigger than Saigon.

The chaotic withdrawal, which saw the US troops abandoning their military equipment and munitions at their Afghan bases and virtually leaving thousands of civilians who worked with the US and its allies to their fate was a wrong move on all accounts, Martinez believes.

“Even a private army knows that you get your civilians and your sensitive equipment first. Then you start pulling out the military and the rear guard. And you want everything secured and accounted for,” the veteran said, adding that the US President Joe Biden “did the exactly the opposite.”

It was not the right way. It was a horrendous exit strategy.

Now, many veterans are “pointing a finger at Biden; and rightfully so,” Martinez said, adding that he is one of those who has “completely lost faith in this Biden administration.” There is “no political will” to do things right, he said, adding that “there are Americans still trapped in Afghanistan.”

However, the veteran believes that the US troops should not have stayed in Afghanistan for so long in the first place. “I feel that the war in Afghanistan, in and of itself, did not have to last as long as it did,” he said, adding that the US and its allies should have focused on “hunting down Al-Qaeda” and bringing those responsible for 9/11 to justice, instead of virtually occupying Afghanistan for almost two decades in the name of “nation-building.”

This “nation-building strategy” was completely flawed from the very onset, the Afghan war veteran believes, adding that it had never worked before, either in Vietnam or later in Iraq. The US presence in Afghanistan also failed to make the world a safer place, Martinez believes.

The US, and New York in particular, still saw a “bunch” of attempted terrorist attacks between the early 2000s and 2010s, at a time when the US troops were already in Afghanistan, he said, adding that the world saw “spikes” of terrorist activity and waves of illegal migration flooding Europe at a time when the US and its allies were still in Afghanistan.

The war should have ended at some time in the 2000s, not dragged on the way it had and cost thousands of lives and even more thousands of wounded.

However, Martinez is not sure whether Washington is able to learn from the past. And if America still has not learned from Vietnam and Iraq – and now Afghanistan – it will continue to “make the same big mistakes,” he warns.

Eventually, such conflicts do not serve the interests of Americans but only those of the US military industrial complex that “pockets” the profits of war, Martinez believes. “We are just being used for the will of the military industrial complex,” the veteran said.

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