Afghanistan withdrawal has harmed US military recruitment, Hollywood actor says

American actor and humanitarian, Gary Sinise, has said that Afghanistan withdrawal has harmed US military’s recruitment targets.

The Gold Globe winning actor told Fox News: “I know what happened in Afghanistan was very eye-opening. That wasn’t helpful at all… [it was] very difficult on many, many veterans who had served there multiple times over the last 20 years. I think that was harmful.”

The US Army fell 15,000 or 25% short of its recruitment target in 2022.

Sinise stated that he knows many are still serving with “commitment and dedication” despite indicating that the catastrophic withdrawal that ended US-led intervention “shooked the nation” and made some people “doubtful” of the US military.

“They are some of the best Americans, best patriots, best people that I’ve ever met in my life…” he added to the News.

However, the US withdrawal and the subsequent Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021 “devastated” the morale of many veterans who had served in Afghanistan as well as affected their family members, he said.

“Veterans and military families grappling with the travesty turned to mental health resources at the time as they reported feeling demoralized and isolated by what happened.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Independence Fund, Sarah Verardo, told Fox News that at the time many wondered if decades of sacrifices in Afghanistan were made in vain.

“Our Gold Star families, they’re carrying a heavy burden and a really hard one to swallow as people casually say, ‘Was it worth it?’ and they have to know that their spouse or son or daughter made that ultimate sacrifice. So, whether we now as a nation can debate if it’s worth it or not, that person died believing it was,” she continued.

A recent report by the US State Department blamed both the former Trump administration and the Joe Biden administration for a number of shortcomings and failure to manage the crisis that eventually led to the tumultuous withdrawal and significantly contributed to the instability in the country.