US contractor: Training Afghan soldiers to fight the Taliban was worth it
Defense Contractor Steve Hutchings joins ‘Fox & Friends First’ to tell his story about leaving Afghanistan
Former Marine and State Department Contractor Steve Hutchings is back in the U.S. after fleeing Afghanistan days after the Taliban took control of the country.
“My guys were still flying, doing their missions, evacuating personnel,” Hutchings told Fox & Friends First on Thursday, “pretty much to the last minute.”
Hutchings says he and his colleagues waited for hours, as plane after plane landed, and took off without offering them a ride. “We saw our bird was coming in for us — it wasn’t,” he said. “And then we saw another bird come in, ‘hey, this is for us!’ — and, it wasn’t.”
Finally, he says, they were able to board a plane to Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base, one of two military bases in the country, located southwest of Doha. But not before spending the night at Kabul International Airport, surrounded by Taliban fighters, where he and his men “hung out on the flight line…listening to…machine-gun fire every once in a while to keep us…paying attention.”
Thousands of Americans still remain in Afghanistan since the Taliban took full control of the nation last weekend. According to the Wall Street Journal, senior U.S military officials in the region have warned the Taliban that there will be repercussions for interfering with the evacuation of U.S. citizens.
On Wednesday, President Biden said that the U.S. will do “everything in our power” to evacuate the Americans still in the country, telling ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, “we’re gonna stay ’til we get them all out.”
BIDEN PANNED FOR ‘SHAMEFUL’ COMMENTS ON AFGHAN WITHDRAWAL DURING ABC INTERVIEW: ‘IT’S REALLY BAD’
But Hutchings expressed skepticism towards the President’s promises, citing his lack of planning.
Hutchings insists he does not feel his time spent in Afghanistan training soldiers was for naught, despite the stunning losses seen over the past week. “Was the training worth it?” he said. “I know personally that the guys that we trained, it was.”
In a press conference on Monday, Biden defended his decision to pull out of Afghanistan:
“We gave them [Afghans] every tool they could need… What we could not provide was the will to fight for that future.”
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
Hutchings, however, pushed back on the president’s comments:
“It’s frustrating…if you’re not there and you don’t know these guys and you don’t train with them, see how they train to fight, eat with them, get to know them, learn about their families…everything to these guys is their families.”
Source: Read Full Article