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Orli Avior (in the middle)

Avior with Afghani Child

A memorial service for a fallen U.S. soldier, known as a Ramp Ceremony, held at the airport prior to the departure of the aircraft carrying the deceased person's body.

Afghani man nicknamed "Rambo" and Avior at the gate to Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan

Jewish Israeli Woman Orli Avior who served in Afghanistan not At All Surprised It Has Fallen Into the Hands of the Taliban

by Rhonda Spivak, Aug 26,2021


Orly Avior, a Jewish Israeli citizen who served in Afghanistan  (since she was also a US citizen in the American army) is not at all surprised that the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan


In Afghanistan, Avior worked for a year in 2008-2009 as the equal-opportunity noncommissioned officer, receiving complaints from any American soldier who felt discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, gender or national origin. 

In addition to handling discrimination complaints, Avior got to meet many Afghani soldiers, whom the United States was arming and training against the Taliban insurgency and al-Qaida.

Avior joined American security forces on "dismount" missions, where a convoy goes out to a village, "while a gunner and driver stay in the vehicle and the soldiers walk through the village speaking to elders and townspeople to try to get some intelligence."

It is through these missions that Avior said the Americans "got to know which villages are for us and which were Taliban sympathizers."

 Avior  recalls how  the Taliban blew up roads and forcing teachers to shut down schools. "They sliced off the ears of one defiant teacher the Taliban went so far as to throw acid in the faces of some of the girls walking to school to keep them from being educated." When this happened the situation was "chaotic." 

The American army  set up medical centres and "taught the Afghani National Army medical aid." However, unfortunately, Avior noticed at the time that the Afghan army was "backward thinking," 

"If [Afghani] soldiers didn't need something right then and now, they sold it," she said. "There wasn't accountability. We're tried to teach them to keep the supplies they had. If they didn't need them today, it doesn't mean they wouldn't need the supplies tomorrow. But  members of the Afghani army sold supplies to whomever gave them the most money, and that even could be the Taliban."

In 2009, Avior recalls she was pessimistic about America pulling out from Afghanistan writing to her friends at the time that " It could take a generation – maybe 20 years – before the Afghan army would be strong enough and educated enough to control their country."


"We trained the Afghan National Army giving them all the equipment and weapons they required, but many of the Afghan soldiers only signed up for the pay, and they lacked discipline, which made our mission a difficult one," says Avior.

In the Afghan army, there are some women, many of them young widows, who enlisted because, as Avior explains, "they had to feed their families." But, women couldn't make the rank of officer, only sergeant.

"The craziest thing is that many of the women in the Afghan army served as security guards but the army wouldn't issue them weapons. The women are in uniform but they are unarmed! At the time I asked why don't they allow women to have weapons. One of our captains asked an Afghani general about this and the general said it was because the men were afraid that the women will shoot them, so the army didn't issue them weapons."

Avior also noticed that the female soldiers in the Afghan army were all wearing civilian shoes, not army boots. "This was because the women get the leftover men's boots and they were all too big to fit. When I realized this I donated some of my boots," said Avior.


Avior notes that the "members of the Taliban were able to infiltrate into US training courses and were imbedded with the Afghan national army with the knowledge of the Afghan national army because no one would go against the infiltrators because they were afraid that their families and themselves would be killed if they tried to throw out the infiltrators. For example, there was an Afghani man we nicknamed Rambo who was was helping our soldiers at the gate at Camp Phoenix in Kabul, where I was stationed, and he  loved his country and knew many of the Taliban. American soldiers checked a vehicle for explosives and were going to let the vehicle through the gate but Rambo  told them not to and opened the car door and pulled one of the guys out of the car and indicated that he was a terrorist.  When he went home that evening he found his wife and children murdered. He came back to the base and told us that if he stayed at home he would be slaughtered also.  We then gave him authorization to live in the little stone building that was just inside our gate.  He stayed there and worked the gate every day after that with our soldiers.  We gave him uniforms but were not authorized to give him weapon so he worked every day with our guys with a baseball bat."




In Avior's view, the 'rules of engagement' kept the Americans from winning and ending this war years ago. 


As Avior explains, one of the reasons the American's didn't win this war was that "If the Taliban was firing down from a vantage point on our soldiers and we called for air support, if the Taliban were not shooting when the air support arrived, our soldiers were not allowed to fire upon the site. It didn't take long for the Taliban to stop the attack if they heard the helicopters coming."
Avior adds, "One of the main complaints I heard from our marines was that they would be with the Afghans in the day but every night our marines were required to return to their FOB (Forward Operating Base) instead of being embedded with their Afghani counterparts 24 hours.  Again it didn't take the Taliban long to realize it would be easier to take out their Afghani countrymen who opposed them at night when the US troops left."


"It was like fighting with one hand tied behind our back. The Taliban knew the rules and used them to their advantage. They were not bound by any such rules and were sure to use the rules we had to follow to their advantage," Avior says


Avior didn't tell people she was Jewish or Israeli. "Afghanis hate Israel," she said. "We hired Afghanis to set up Internet for our soldiers. To improve our system, we ordered parts and one of the parts ordered said 'Made in Israel.' The Afghanis wouldn't let the part into the country."


Since the Taliban has taken over in Afghanistan, Avior  can’t help but remember "the many memorial services we had for those who were killed in that country. So many American service members were lost just in that one year.  The loss  that hit me the hardest was the naval officer who just returned after two weeks of leave to see her husband and young daughter only to be shot and killed by a Taliban infiltrator while she and another service member were running on the track at a combined base with the Afghan army."



"Now Bagram, our large air base, the embassy with all the information, weapons, vehicles, and equipment are in the hands of the Taliban.  Many of our people as well as those who served with us are currently  under the control of the same people who terrorized the women and children for so many years.  The whole world sees this blunder of President Biden. Now U.S. allies, especially, Israel should think twice about ever depending upon the US.  The Taliban 's victory will encourage  Islamic radicals who are out to destroy Israel and overthrow moderate Arab governments. American weapons now in the hands of the Taliban will no doubt end up in the hands of Hamas and other terrorist groups."


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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