‘This was not the right way’

By Luke Brantley
Staff Writer

Johnny Micheal “Mike” Spann of Winfield was the first American killed during the war in Afghanistan in 2001. Now, 20 years later, the United States has withdrawn all troops from the country in a manner that has left many angry and confused with how it was done.
The Biden administration had delayed a withdrawal deadline from May 1 to August 31, 2021. As U.S. troops began to leave, the Taliban quickly began taking over territory. By August 15, the Taliban had entered the capital city of Kabul. The Afghan president fled the country and U.S. diplomats were evacuated by helicopter.
The Kabul airport became a scene of chaos and desperation as thousands of people tried to evacuate the country on U.S. military aircraft. An attack left 13 U.S. soldiers dead. Once the final plane took off, the Taliban was back in control of Afghanistan.
Mike’s father, Johnny Spann, said the withdrawal has stained America’s image on a world stage.
“To people in other countries, to all our allies, the legacy is, ‘See, they don’t ever live up to their word. We can’t partner with them or depend on them because they’ll pull out,’” Spann said. “I can’t see how any of our allies around the world would trust us, or how any of them could even look at us as a superpower.”
Spann said that the fault doesn’t lie with the troops and personnel on the ground, but with the current presidential administration. 

See complete story in the Journal Record.
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