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A lot has been said about why the Taliban were able to retake power in such a short time in Afghanistan. Baktash Ahadi, former combat interpreter for U.S. and Afghan Special Operations forces, says one reason is that American troops lacked cultural understanding of the Afghan people.

  • Ahadi provided the example of when U.S. military soldiers mistakenly burned copies of the Quran at Bagram Air Base in 2012, sparking protests across the country.
  • Ahadi said some American troops received cultural training but many did not.
  • The Pentagon should focus on engaging more with those they are trying to serve, said Ahadi.

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