The mission to Afghanistan wasnt pointless. Thats what Admiral Rob Bauer, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, says in a video message to the nearly 1 million soldiers who served in the country where the extremist Taliban is now waving the scepter again.
Since the fall of Kabul, many experts and politicians have asked aloud whether the twenty year mission in Afghanistan has been making sense. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pointed to Afghan leaders with an accusating finger earlier this week. They would not have resisted the rapidly advancing Taliban. From the discussion about the role of the alliance, he stayed anxiously away.
Dutchman Bauer, the man of the highest military position in the alliance since June, now acknowledges in his message that the rapid collapse of the Afghan security forces and government has led to a heated debate in our armed forces and our societies.
The former Commander of the Netherlands addresses the Afghanistan veterans of all NATO member states: “Many questions: was this worth it? Were our efforts in vain? On behalf of the military committee, I would like to say to all of you: fighting for what you believe in is never in vain. Doing what your democratic governments have asked you to do and play the role laid down in our constitutions is never in vain.”
Bauer claims to be aware that many soldiers have left scars to the mission — physically or mentally. He calls on anyone who has a hard time contacting a buddy or veteran organization. “To all of you I say: your service in Afghanistan has irreversible changed the country. Just like it irreversibly changed you. The individual sacrifice you have made should never be taken for granted.”
Theres another summit at NATO on Friday. The Foreign Ministers of the Member States speak to top man Stoltenberg about the current situation in Afghanistan.