Winning to losing

veteran’s corner

Tom Krabbenhoft

Congratulations to the ND chapter of the Fallen Outdoors on a successful fundraising banquet. They take Veterans on hunting trips at NO costs to them. Outdoor activities especially with other veterans have been proven to be therapeutic to veterans.

9/11 20 years after we hold solemn reminders of of this date. How ironic that some people that were not old enough to remember, or even born yet handled the retreat from Afghanistan.


Our victory 

Shortly after 9-11-01 the US sent special forces troops to Afghanistan to work with the Northern Alliance. The US and Northern Alliance worked very well together, despite their leader being assassinated days earlier. The US brought air power with them which is something the Northern Alliance sadly lacked. They were soon joined by SF units from Great Britain, Norway and other countries.

 They were also joined by Afghan tribesmen whose loyalties would switch like the wind. The Taliban, Al Qeada and other hostile groups were on the run. This largely culminated with the battle of Tora Bora. Afghanistan was soon taken back by allied forces. The low intensity style of warfare where we brought on often time rival tribes was very successful.


The unraveling starts

War should not be an overly complicated thing. Kill your enemy or be killed by your enemy, essentially.

In 2009 NPR and several other agencies reported a shift in ROEs (rules of engagement) that would hamper war efforts and endanger US troops. They were correct. Troop causalities spiked and rose under these new ROEs.


The surge

Troops at a record high of 110,000 for the highly touted “troop surge”. Speaking with many friends there at the time the surge was useless for the most part. What good does it do to have extra troops when they can’t engage the enemy? My friend likened it to “having a cop on every corner with no one being arrested.”


 When we lost 

In my own thoughts and opinion (shared by many) we lost when two US Army Green berets beat up a local Afghan police commander in 2012.

One night a woman approached Army Captain Quinn and Sgt. Martlund as her 12 year old son was being held by the police commander as a Bacha Bazi (boy play). The boy was chained to the policeman’s bed and he refused to release him. The Green berets took matters into their own hands. They freed the boy and beat the Afghan commander in the process. The Army decided to discipline the two soldiers. Cpt. Quinn resigned and Martlund went through the disciplinary process. Other Americans have had careers ruined and even been killed for reporting this. Over 5,000 cases of Bacha Bazi were reported. Obama administration commissioned a report on the incidents.  The results were so damning it was recommended the report be sealed until 2042. Seattle Times did an in depth article on this in 2018.

How truly sad we could not defend those that needed it most. Politics prevailed over principles.

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