To the editor:

Former President Donald Trump spent more than a year negotiating the handover of Afghanistan to the Taliban. He ignored the needs of the Afghanistan people. He excluded the Afghan government from talks. He told the Taliban that we were leaving no matter what. His only condition was that they not attack our troops before we left. In return, he forced the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners.

No one should think Trump had any plan to evacuate the Afghans who helped us during the last 20 years in their country. Trump had four years to make sure they had the paperwork necessary to leave for America. It did not happen under his administration. It would not have happened before his May deadline to withdraw our troops.

President Joe Biden has responsibility for delaying the start of the evacuation of our Afghan allies. He recovered and got over 100,000 out of the country. The GOP should stop pointing fingers at him if they were silent on Trump’s surrender of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

Finally, we should stop blaming the Afghan military for the Taliban’s victory. Our combat mission, excluding special forces, ended in 2014. From 2015, we lost just 93 servicemen. During that time Afghan forces lost 45,000 and 14,000 before 2015. Their death toll is more than ours during Vietnam. They were willing to fight, but depended upon U.S. contractors to maintain their aircraft as well as on our air support. They saw no reason to continue to die for a lost cause once we deserted them.

Walter Hamilton

Portsmouth

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