Afghanistan situation worse than Saigon: Former foreign correspondent


According to a former foreign journalist, the situation in Afghanistan is worse than that in Vietnam in 1975.

Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam at the time, crashed into the North Vietnamese Army on April 30, 1975. In the days leading up to the acquisition, the Vietnam War was virtually over and US troops evacuated thousands of Americans and Vietnamese.

Ron Yates was there as a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune at the time. He remembers the U.S. military working for weeks to expel the Vietnamese who helped the United States during the war.

“They managed to get a lot of people out,” Yates recalled the August 20th Epoch Times “American Thought Leader.”

Meanwhile, the United States was unable to evacuate many Afghans before falling into the Taliban in mid-August.

“It’s an unmitigated disaster,” Yates said. “They took months to do this. Why couldn’t they start this process three or four months ago? After they hijacked, they would probably be the target of the Taliban. Deaf Slowly took these Afghans out. “

Since August 14, the United States has facilitated the evacuation or evacuation of approximately 82,300 people in US military and allied flights, according to White House officials. Many of them are Afghans who may have been targeted if they remained in the country.

However, only 5,400 people, including many Americans, were evacuated before the Taliban was taken over.

The Biden administration, which said there was a time for a post-review at a later date, including how the Afghan army was unable to confront the Taliban, has been criticized for not expecting a rapid takeover as the United States. The state withdrew personnel prior to the voluntarily imposed withdrawal deadline of 31 August.

Military officials have indicated that there was a failure in intelligence operations, and top US general Mark Milley told reporters in a rare public manner last week: .. “

The Director of National Intelligence Office has not responded to requests for comment.

Epoch Times Photo
Ron Yates can be seen in the file photo in Vietnam. (Provided by Ron Yates)

Yates, who worked for the Army Security Agency, which handled signal intelligence, told The Epoch Times that he believed it was not a failure of intelligence, but that he did not pay attention to the intelligence given.

“I think there was a lot of intelligence on earth. As you know, there are still a lot of people in Afghanistan and they provide great information about the Taliban and more,” said Yates.

“And I believe the Pentagon troops warned the administration about what was happening. I heard they warned them in July. If they didn’t, they allowed the Taliban. If they withdrew in a hurry, the Taliban started what they were doing now. It would be confusing. It would be scary.

“And for some reason, I don’t think the administration is paying attention to that advice. I’m not in the room, so I don’t know. I’m not familiar with the White House situation room, I feel they didn’t hear, and now we’re paying for it. “

President Joe Biden said Tuesday as US troops are scrambling to evacuate the thousands of remaining Americans in Afghanistan, in addition to Afghanistan, which has supported the United States for at least 20 years so far. Announced that the August 31 deadline will not be postponed. War there.

A group of seven leaders, including Biden, decided to take a “unified” approach to the Taliban, along with future government legitimacy, depending on how terrorist groups support so-called international obligations. It was agreed at a meeting earlier that day.

“And we agreed that none of us would accept the Taliban’s words. We judge them by their actions, and to move forward in response to the Taliban’s actions. We will continue to make close adjustments to every step we take, “Biden said.

Looking to the future, Mr Yates said most Afghans working with the US military wanted to be able to flee the country before the US military withdrew.

“Another thing I think is really important is the behavior of our media. I was very impressed, I am very happy, and it covers this story So by the function of the media. They are asking good questions. They are accountable to the administration. They are investigating them. They are what we see on the ground in Afghanistan. I’m trying to get some good answers to some of the things, and I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s at its best and showing the media at its best. ” He said.

“And if it’s possible and if it can last for a long time, it’s a kind of reinvention of our American media, doing its job for change, and maybe a government watchdog. I believe it may be. I hope it is the end result of all this. “

Zachary Stieber

Zachary Stieber covers US news, including politics and proceedings. He started in The Epoch Times as a metro reporter for New York City.

Jan Jekielek

Jan Jekielek

Senior editor

Jan Jekielek is the chief editor of The Epoch Times and the host of the show “American Thought Leaders”. Jan’s career spans academia, the media, and international human rights activities. In 2009 he participated in The Epoch Times full-time and has played various roles, including the editor-in-chief of the website. He is the producer of the award-winning Holocaust documentary film “Finding Manny.”