Houston man who served as interpreter with US Army shares his worries for family in Afghanistan amid turmoil

We are getting local perspectives on the key questions about the Afghan Army, which include the strength and core issues they are facing as the Taliban takes over the country.

Azizullah Shinwari says he contacts his family back home in Afghanistan every few hours.

"Everyone is so panicked and everybody is so upset about their dark future. They do not know what is going to happen next."

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For him, his four little children and wife - they changed their future when arriving in Houston a few years ago. As a local interpreter working with the U.S. Army, he did not know if the Taliban would be targeting his family.

"We were doing the interrogations and everything and they basically expose your identity to the villagers. You can be in deep danger. It is why I came here."

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His little brother, a SWAT police officer for the police department in the north side of Afghanistan, was in the process of leaving his job due to the danger but was shot and killed by the Taliban.

"His wife and kids in the middle of nowhere. I try to send them money to support them. I want to make sure they have food and medication and school supplies and everything."

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Shinwari wants to offer his perspective as an Afghan who worked with the Kabul Military Training Center and U.S. Army for years. He says the Afghan Army is willing to fight despite what foreigners think.

"We will defend with the last drop in our body, but if we do not receive enough support from air or ground or economical support, because we have bad neighbors around us. Especially Pakistan."

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Pakistan has been key in the continuation of the Taliban, according to Dr. Richard Sindelar who served more than 22 years as a diplomatic officer with the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service.

He says the issues include the Afghan military being corrupt, but that is not all.

"The basis for an identity for Afghanis is in the tribe and the clan and the village and the region. Not the nation-state. If your leader President Ghani is corrupt and the military is seen as corrupt, and not in your tribe or region, you are not going to fight for them. The Taliban also offered lots of amnesties as they went through. Hey just give us your guns, go home, we won’t bother you as opposed to fighting and dying," said Sindelar.