The war in Afghanistan is finally over. Our troops are home. The tragedy of two suicide bombers killing hundreds of people including 13 American troops is seared into my memory. Those soldiers were trying to save mostly Afgan men, women and children by facilitating a transfer out of Kabul to a safer destination.

My wife served in the Navy. She understands first hand the sacrifices that young men and women make to serve our country. As more and more people criticized our withdrawal from Afghanistan, she became irritated at the comments being made by those who never were part of the military. It is easy for politicians and citizens alike to judge the last horrific events in Kabul as a “botched”mission, yet why didn’t they volunteer to go? (Letter to the editor, A4, WMI, 8/27/21) There are members of the military and veterans who have served who have an opinion that matters.

It is time we stop pointing fingers and realize that this entire war from beginning to end needs to owned by every American as a success and a failure. After the bombing of the World Trade Center, there was near unanimous support by all Americans to invade Afghanistan. We successfully displaced the Taliban and Al Queda. Osama Bin Laden was eventually found and held accountable. We allowed Afghan society to experience a new life in the form of democracy and equality for women for nearly 20 years. We also were able to successfully respond to the rise of the Islamic State.

We failed when we lost focus on the mission and invaded Iraq. We failed when we began Nation Building instead of pulling out. We failed when we negotiated a treaty with the Taliban and did not include the Afghanistan leadership. We failed when 5,000 Taliban prisoners were released before we left. We failed every time another life was lost in Afghanistan whether it was an Afgan child or an American Marine. War is awful no matter how you look at it.

The two actions that were correct, without dispute , were the decision to invade Afghanistan and our decision to end the war, nearly 20 years later.

Let’s stop the blaming. It was a collective success and failure. It is over. It is time to heal and come together. I will always remember the ultimate sacrifices made by 2,372 individuals in our American military. There were 241,000 people who died during the Afghanistan and Pakistan conflict since 2001. Approximately 71,000 were civilians. I only hope we, America, can learn from this tragedy.

Gregory Jarrin, MD,


(4) comments


Yes, beautifully put. It's about kindness and love. Let's all be hippies again. Peace


I totally agree. It did not matter when or how we pulled our troops from Afghanistan, it was going to be a nightmare for those caught in the middle. I am the wife of a post-Vietnam Army veteran, and he wanted our troops home even before it was done. Everyone promised to pull the troops, but only Biden was willing to withstand the ridicule for the "botched mission", something neither Obama or Trump was really willing to do. I appreciate all who have served and currently serve in our military, mourn those who gave all, and pray for those who came back injured, mentally and physically. I think every politician should have military service experience. Their sons and daughters should have to go like ours do. Maybe a walk in a soldier's shoes would make war something that was done as a last resort and to protect our country rather than to try and "nation build". Please give your wife my heartfelt thanks for her service.


Peace! I think we hippies had the right ideas, somehow we just lost our way. We became too influenced by the almighty dollar. I agree that we should all become hippies again. Peace and love!


Amen, brother!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.