August 15th marks the one year anniversary since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan – which kicked off the infamous US disaster to evacuate the remaining military, State Department, and US civilians from the Afghan capital.
“Tens of thousands of translators and other Afghans arrived at the airport in waves, desperate to get out amid the Taliban onslaught,” Zero Hedge reported.
As the US-propped up president Ashraf Ghani was among the first officials to flee the country, reportedly with some $169 million raided from state coffers, local Afghan troops also melted away, allowing the Taliban to march into Kabul with ease. From there a chain of events saw what was then known as Hamid Karzai International Airport descend into chaos as a poorly prepared US and international coalition security perimeter struggled to prevent the flood of people desperate to escape the war-torn country from overwhelming the runways.
On August 26, 2021, a suicide bomber attacked a crowded airport entry checkpoint, killing scores of Afghan civilians and 13 American troops, mostly Marines. An estimated 45 additional US troops had been wounded in the blast, considered among the greatest US military disasters in over two decades of occupation since 2001.
In the months following, not only was the Biden administration under fire for what was clearly a woefully ill-prepared and disorganized pullout of the country (importantly which also reportedly left thousands of dual citizens behind, in addition to tens of thousands of local Afghan translators and coalition partners), but the Pentagon came under scrutiny as well for positioning Marines on extremely exposed perimeters and checkpoints as “sitting ducks” for potential terror attacks.
After a Pentagon investigation of the events leading to the suicide attack, not a single person in the US military or Biden Administration received discipline or blame.
Instead, they declared the pullout a “success.”
One year later, the tragedy’s aftermath is still felt by those still mourning the 13 US personnel killed on August 26th.
“The brother of a young Marine killed during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan reportedly died by suicide a year later during a recent memorial service for the fallen service member,” Fox News reported.
The brother of a Marine killed during Joe's botched Afghanistan withdrawal has just committed suicide 😢
— Unaffiliated Voter (@WayneDupreeShow) August 15, 2022
— Charlie Collins (@blackiesheeler) August 15, 2022
From Fox News:
Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20, from Norco, California, was one of 13 American troops killed on Aug. 26, 2021, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive outside the Kabul airport as crowds of Americans and Afghan allies sought to flee Taliban fighters taking over control of the capital city.
Nearly a year later, Nikoui’s older brother, 28-year-old Dakota Halverson, died on Aug. 9, a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in California confirmed, though offering few details.
“The older brother of one of the 13 KIA in Kabul recently killed himself at his little brother’s memorial,” Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., tweeted on Saturday, replying to a tweet by Townhall reporter Julio Rosas. “Please pray for his family. There MUST be accountability for this continued carnage.”
Rosas shared a link to a GoFundMe page, writing that “Shana Chappell, who lost her son LCpl. Kareem Nikoui in the attack during the Afghanistan evacuation last year, announced her son Dakota died.” Rosas’ tweet included the hashtag “#SuicideAwareness.”
“Dakota Halverson was a loving son, brother and friend,” Chappell wrote on GoFundMe. “Losing his brother nearly one year ago has proven too difficult to bear. Any donations for his burial and services would be greatly appreciated as he wanted to be buried next to his brother Kareem, who was killed August 26th, 2021, while serving his country. His family and I want to honor his wishes.”
As of midday Sunday, the fundraiser reached more than $18,600 of its listed $20,000 goal.
Chappell and the fallen Marine’s father, Steve Nikoui, have been vocal critics of President Biden’s principal military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, regarding the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last August following a 20-year conflict.