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San Diego military experts discuss Afghanistan with Taliban on brink of power

"How quickly it has been taken is unbelievable."
APTOPIX Afghanistan
Posted at 8:37 PM, Aug 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 18:00:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- U.S. officials said Sunday the evacuation of the American Embassy in Kabul has been completed and the U.S. flag has been lowered at the facility.

“Now we have the same government in power that we kicked out 20 years ago, that’s very ominous for the future of Afghanistan, and the re-emergence of terrorism, the reason for which we went in the first place," said national security expert Ron Bee.

Bee said he's been watching closely as the Taliban regain control of Afghanistan after 20 years.

"It has been a sort of a bowling ball rolling towards Kabul," Bee said. "And it hit Kabul today."

So far, more than 1,000 troops have been already deployed and others are expected to follow.

Experts in San Diego say that things are difficult at the moment, especially with evacuations, since the Taliban has already taken control of the border. Experts like Bee said they believe it will only worsen as time goes on.

"It's not a surprise that it has been taken quickly," shared Marine Corps veteran Phil Kendro. "How quickly it has been taken is unbelievable."

Kendro said that while many in the Armed Forces might feel defeated, lives lost are not in vain.

"We know as veterans, we know that even though for those 20 years and unfortunately probably wasting trillions of dollars we probably prevented another 9/11 here in the United States," said Kendro.

Bee added that the U.S. removing troops after two decades could have been planned differently, but believes it needed to happen.

"Don't get me wrong, that's a long time for anywhere, but if the Afghan people can't stand up to the Taliban themselves, one has to ask, 'how long do we stay?'" said Bee.

Kendro, who has served in San Diego, says it's likely local troops are already there or on the way, as they work to evacuate as many as they can.

"The fact that we have forces over there, force and readiness that is off the Indian Coast, there are probably people from San Diego on helicopters, on V-22s, whatever assets they are bringing in, to help people out. Hopefully, we will get them all back safely," said Kendro. "Because regardless of what someone said recently, this is probably going to be a combat zone with shots being thrown back and forth."

Bee agreed that while our troops may be able to enter, fleeing safely is a different story.

"It's going to be extremely difficult because most of the servicemen and women have made contacts and friendships and relationships with the Afghan people, especially in the capital. And the chaos of trying to get out, not all are going to get out quickly … War is hell and this is actually a war right now in the capital," Bee said.

He added that watching the Taliban move back into power is a disappointment.

"It certainly has the appearance of panic at a time when we were hoping that Afghanistan would have a better life for their women, that's endangered now, for their citizens, that's endangered now, and their life," said Bee. "This is a chapter in American history that has been a difficult one, but the major accomplishment we made in Afghanistan was to prevent another 9/11. Let’s hope that that accomplishment stands."