U.S. Veteran Urges Change in Afghanistan
24 Apr 09 | PTV
In a congregational hearing, retired war veteran Marine Corporal Rick Reyes urges congress to rethink US strategy in Afghanistan.
“We were destroying people’s homes and injuring Afghan civilians for no reason. I witnessed first hand how we began creating enemies out of innocent civilians. I saw how Afghans began hating us. As a marine, I began loosing sight of why I was there,” Reyes testified before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Thursday.
Reyes is one of five panelists invited to speak before the Senate committee. Reyes used his personal expertise to discuss the Afghan war and reasons for non-military solutions
While stationed in Kabul, Cpl. Reyes, along with his squad, were given the mission of seeking out and capturing members of the Taliban during nightly missions.
After following dozens of leads, all suspected Taliban would in the end be released because they were found to be innocent civilians. In the meantime, during their excitement to capture Taliban, squads of Marines would often injure Afghans who mostly turned out to be innocent civilians.
“Almost 100 percent of the time, we would find that suspected terrorist turned out to be innocent civilians. I started to feel like we were chasing ghosts. I love this country (US). I would give my life for it. But we as a country have to rethink Afghanistan, after eight years of US military intervention, we have yet to identify our mission for being there,” Reyes said.