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An Afghan general who faced execution after the Taliban takeover maintains hope for his home

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Lieutenant General Sami Sadat was called to Kabul to command Afghanistan's special forces and lead security efforts for Kabul, as the Taliban were already entering the capital city in August 2021.

Nearly two years since the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent fall of the government to Taliban power, Lt. Gen. Sadat says he and others who fled seek to return and free their country.

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Sadat about the future of Afghanistan and the final nine months of America's 20-year war captured in the 2022 documentary film Retrograde.

Sadat and retired Green Beret and active National Guard member Thomas Kasza recently discussed the events of the film at Drake University, as part of a tour across the U.S. to share their hope for a free and prosperous Afghanistan and thank veterans and those who have welcomed Afghan refugees.

A veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, Kasza and other Green Berets lead the 1208 Foundation to provide life-saving assistance and immigration advocacy to the survivors of the National Mine Reduction Group and other Afghans who worked with U.S. special forces.


  • Lt. Gen. Sami Sadat, final commander of Afghan Special Operations Corps
  • Thomas Kasza, retired Green Beret, executive director and founder, 1208 Foundation
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.