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WNY native and Afghanistan veteran speaks on Middle East crisis

Sgt. Jason Dent, of Hamburg, served in Afghanistan from 2003-2005, to go along with another 18 years of military service.
Posted at 7:42 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 19:42:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Just about two months ago, on April 14th, 2021, President Biden announced that all United States troops would be removed from Afghanistan by September 11th, marking the 20th anniversary of the attacks.

Within the last few days, that plan has unraveled. Taliban forces have captured control of every major city in Afghanistan, forcing the United States to evacuate both Bagram Airfield and the Embassy in Kabul, arguably the two most important United States strongholds in the country.

For many, the end of a 20 year conflict has drawn harsh emotions. Sgt. Jason Dent served in the military in special operations in Afghanistan, before moving forward to work in Iraq and numerous other tours of duty.

He was brave and encouraged by the chance to speak on the fall of the Afghan military. During his tenure, he spent extensive time helping the society repair itself, and return human rights to women and children in particular.

"They had nothing. Women weren't seen as needing to be educated, to have basic human rights. Some people drank water out of the same creek they did laundry. We were there to help their hearts and minds and defend them against the Taliban," he said.

Yet, as years went by, and United States troops slowly were pulled back, funding was lost. It was a matter of time before the Taliban could return.

"I was frustrated that all the lives lost we're possibly for nothing," he said.

"But I think we needed to start to loosen the grip a little," he added.

President Biden announced he will be shifting some forces back into the country to make sure all Americans are evacuated - but has not spoken on what the country will do next.

Dent, however, is scared for the future.

"I don't want another 2001, another attack on American soil."