Pentagon sends mental-health resources to Afghanistan vets, saying collapse ‘does not minimize or negate the experiences of all who served overseas’

A photo of US General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff under President Joe Biden.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, speaks during a press conference about the situation in Afghanistan on August 18, 2021, at The Pentagon in Washington, DC.
  • The Pentagon sent out a list of mental-health resources to US veterans who fought in Afghanistan.
  • It encouraged veterans to remember their work was not in vain, despite the Taliban's resurgence.
  • After its swift takeover, the political and migratory fate of millions of Afghans is in jeopardy.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Pentagon sent out a list of mental-health support resources to US veterans who served in armed forces in Afghanistan, as the country and its people reel from institutional collapse and a Taliban takeover.

"Remember that what is happening now does not minimize or negate the experiences of all who served overseas," the message said. "Service is never for naught."

Amid reports that the turmoil in Afghanistan - alongside the upcoming 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks - is triggering emotional challenges among some veterans, the memo reiterated that, "talking can be very therapeutic."

On Wednesday, during his first Pentagon press briefing since the Taliban seized control, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said, "There was nothing that I or anybody else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days."

President Joe Biden in July called for a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, keeping pace with a deal negotiated by the Trump administration.

At the time, Biden said in a press briefing that "the likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely."

In early August, following the US pullout, the Taliban accelerated its offensive, confronting fleeing Afghan National Security and Defense Forces in major cities across the country. The US had spent years and billions of dollars training the forces, and two decades at war in Afghanistan.

As it stands, and after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the political and economic fate of millions of Afghans remains in jeopardy.

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