Speed Reads

'please don't leave us behind'

Afghan Air Force pilot to Americans: 'We did not all just give up and quit'

One Afghan Air Force pilot, forced into hiding until rescued or found out by the Taliban, wants Americans to know Afghan soldiers did not just apathetically throw in the towel when it came to defending their government. 

"Many Afghan soldiers died bravely," the pilot told The Bulwark. "I've been fighting for over fifteen years. We did not all just give up and quit." Yes, some did, the pilot conceded, but "the logistics, maintenance, and corruption" brought on after the U.S. withdrawal "really hurt us." While addressing the nation on Monday, President Biden said American forces cannot and should not be fighting in a war that "Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves."

"I know people in the U.S. are upset that we didn't fight longer," the pilot added. "But we've been fighting for decades — and some of us, even longer. When the U.S. left, it really affected morale, especially how quickly it happened."

Afghan soldiers were "simply doing the best we could" and "loved fighting alongside Americans." "There are a lot of Afghans who trusted the United States," the pilot said.

"Please don't leave us behind. Please. We will be great Americans." Read more at The Bulwark.