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Former Afghan advisor in Lufkin shares perspective

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2021 at 6:59 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - As the Taliban retakes control of Afghanistan, it all but ends America’s 20 year presence, mostly the way it started.

“I think for the general public, largely Afghanistan has been off their radar and out of their vision for a number of years,” said Jeff Mallory, former advisor for the ministry of defense and the president’s office in Afghanistan. “Even today, talking to many people here in Lufkin, they say, ‘oh, I didn’t even realize we were still there.’”

Mallory has more familiarity with the subject than most. The former advisor for the ministry of defense is currently residing in Lufkin, and still keeps a close eye on the situation.

“On a day-to-day basis we met with the Afghan senior leadership and we discussed ways in which they could improve their operations, ways they could become self sufficient, and frustratingly, it rarely happened.”

Mallory says it’s not a good idea to personalize one’s involvement, but at the same time, he still is in communication with former colleagues who are on the run or in hiding in Afghanistan for fear of being killed. He feels that the exact details of the situation overseas are often misunderstood.

“People say, you know, ‘Gee, well don’t these people want to fight for their country?’ You have to understand that as an Afghan soldier you’re probably making only $200 a month. The problem is your commanding officers were probably taking half your pay.”

In light of recent events and drawing on his prior experience, Mallory paints a dire picture of what’s to come.

“You have an Afghanistan that will probably be the first narcos state in Asia, one that is in all likelihood going to become a home operating turf for multiple terrorist organizations, and one that is going to be of great danger to not only America but to the entire world.”

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