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We’re Still Fighting In Afghanistan & No One Cares


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Author Derek Coy is a former Marine sergeant and Iraq War veteran and currently lives in the Bronx.

 

Oct. 7 marks 15 years since the war began in Afghanistan. It’s still going, but no one is paying attention anymore.

 

I remember reading George C. Herring’s book “America’s Longest War” when I was studying history as an undergrad and couldn’t wrap my head around how the conflict in Vietnam could have gone on as long as it did. I naively assured myself that despite how horrific the toll of that war was, at least we had learned from our mistakes and would never let that happen again. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Today, Oct. 7, marks the 15th anniversary of combat operations in Afghanistan, which is now our longest war to date, and other than a select few who bear the brunt of this burden, most people will see #WorldSmileDay trending on Twitter today and not think twice about this somber and embarrassing anniversary. Nothing could be more insulting to the troops currently serving.

I used to empathize with the public in previous years for not paying attention to the war in Afghanistan because there were so many other things going on: the war in Iraq, the worst recession since the Great Depression, threats of climate change, and myriad other things that dominate headlines. Those days are gone, however, and the empathy has run out. It’s now time to quantify what another year in combat means to the brave women and men still serving in Afghanistan and stop neglecting our New Greatest Generation of warfighters.

So what is another year in combat? Well, it depends on who you ask. If you ask the spouse of someone serving, it’s yet another increase in your chances of developing a mental-health problem — a topic largely ignored. If you are the child of someone serving, it’s celebrating another birthday or holiday worrying about your mom or dad overseas. And if you were one of the brave citizens who decided to make the military a career after the Sept. 11 attacks, you are one of the few people who have served on an unprecedented number of deployments, a toll that no other generation of warfighters has ever known.

This burden falls cruelly on a disproportionate number of citizens —- something we’ve never asked such small number of people to endure. And how do we repay these service members and their families? By neglecting them and the issues that affect them. We do live in a post-9/11 world, though, as the years pass, that seems to hold less weight. Some would argue that this is the price we pay for keeping our country safe. However, the literal “price” paid is something that needs to be addressed immediately.

Why are we spending $43 million dollars on a gas station or $335 million on an electric plant in Afghanistan that nobody is using when the brave women who return from Afghanistan don’t have the quality care they deserve? How did a war that was originally sold to us for a cost of “something under $50 billion” turn into a $6 trillion fiasco? Is this the best way to spend trillions of dollars, especially when just $30 billion could be used to solve the world’s food crisis? I’d like to have that discussion, but it’s nearly impossible when an apathetic attitude toward this war permeates our national dialogue. If it’s not about Trump and Clinton’s latest scandal, then no one is interested.

I could go on for ages about how disappointed I am in our country’s leaders for allowing this to happen, and still haven’t even discussed the mental health problems emerging from modern drone warfare, the moral injuries caused by having friends deploy without you, the objective risks of blowback from our policies in the region, or the psychological toll our actions in Afghanistan must take on the innocent civilians there, but am afraid that these complaints will fall on deaf ears.

We went into Afghanistan 15 years ago today as a direct response for the attacks on 9/11, but considering far too many Americans have forgotten the event we said we never would, it’s all too likely that they will continue to forgot about the war it started. I, on the other hand, will continue to serve my fellow veterans when they return home and will do whatever I can to shed light on the individual acts of courage they continue to display for a country that has, for the most part, forgotten about them.

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For as much as the Iraq war was, in candidate Obama's telling, George Bush's ill-considered and costly "war of choice," the war in Afghanistan, in sharp contrast, was a comparatively under-resourced "war of necessity”.

Once president, Obama wasted no time in making this "good war" his own, launching a full policy review and then announcing a new and highly ambitious Afghan nation-building strategy with appropriate fanfare in March, 2009.

And it's a long way from the rhetoric Obama used during the presidential campaign. Back then, Obama would mention the war in Afghanistan as "the good war," with a direct link to the Sept. 11 attacks. In contrast, the Iraq war was "a war that has not made us more safe, but has distracted us from the task at hand in Afghanistan" — as Obama told a rally in Pennsylvania in April 2008.

President Barack Obama said U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan will adopt a “support role” starting in the spring of 2013, to allow Afghan police and soldiers to take full responsibility of the country’s security, a nation where 2,053 American soldiers have died since the war started on Oct. 7, 2001.

Seventy-two percent of those casualties occurred during Obama's first term.

The American public has lost interest in what Barack Obama once called the “good war”. Syria, Egypt, Iran and North Korea seem to present more urgent problems for the superpower.

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When the Russians left Afghanistan, thanks to our help, we left too. Left a failed state and fertile ground for radicals like the taliban that took over. We didn't recognize the danger then, but now we do. Maybe we got a bit shell shocked, but better safe than sorry.

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When the Russians left Afghanistan, thanks to our help, we left too. Left a failed state and fertile ground for radicals like the taliban that took over. We didn't recognize the danger then, but now we do. Maybe we got a bit shell shocked, but better safe than sorry.

ha, those were our radicals

Trained armed and funded by America

So your post makes zero sense

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Thanks Bush!

And how long has Obama been president?

  1. I gotta remember, if I run for office; I can simply blame my shortcomings on the previous administration. Sweet deal.

I thought when you're elected, you're suppose to step up, don't look back, and take charge with a vengeance.

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You scamps take down anymore of our sky scrapers, there's gonna be trouble. President Obama


he war has been going on for thousands of years.. Now we are stuck in it too.

They are anchored to a 7th century ideology; trying to reach sane ground with them is impossible. All the lives, time, money, & energy we have invested has been a total waste.


The only speck of sanity in the ME is Israel.


More positive technology, that benefits mankind, has come from Israel ( Jews ) in the past 50 years, then has come from the entire Islamic world ( Muslims ) in the past 1,400.

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If we are not involved, WGAF?

 

You ( sigh ) once again miss the point.

They are anchored to a 7th century ideology; trying to reach sane ground with them is impossible. All the lives, time, money, & energy we have invested has been a total waste.

  1. They will never ever gain sane ground. They are primitive - - - they are barbaric - - - the entire foundation of Islam is unadulterated ignorance. For 1,400 years, the Islamic band has played on. There is no hope.

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That's because Bush isn't president. Any misery under Bush deserved criticism; under Obama, not so.

You wanted a fucking war, you defended it under Bush, you were told that it would destabilize the Middle East and it has, so cry in your beer. I can recall the cliches, ........... if we pull out now we will embolden the enemy, we will show the world we are weak, we will demoralize the troops, they volunteered, it will bring the terrorists here, etc. Here is a lil Bush speech you once took to heart, among the protestors cry's to end your insanity....................

 

 

And all nations should know: America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation's security.

 

Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun. This campaign may not be finished on our watch, yet it must be and it will be waged on our watch.

 

We can't stop short. If we stopped now, leaving terror camps intact and terror states unchecked, our sense of security would be false and temporary. History has called America and our allies to action, and it is both our responsibility and our privilege to fight freedom's fight. ~ Bush

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JILL STEIN IS THE ONLY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE THAT DOES CARE ABOUT WAR AND WOULD TAKE STEPS TO WIND DOWN THIS MULTI TRILLION TAX DOLLAR WAR!

 

After so many years with Bill Clinton screwing around on Hillary which he carried forward in the white house had to have left Hillary somewhat mentally insecure to this day.

 

And She has not the energy level to deal with the white house. The white house ages all of the occupants dramatically. Hillary will delegate most of her responsibilities to staff and Bill.

 

Conservatives backing Hillary Clinton tells voters that Hillary Clinton is much more conservative than she is pretending. Conservatives only back their own kind.

IS Trump paid to run against Hillary?

Jill Stein the activist grass roots presidential candidate is dealing with her activist misdemeanor according to her legal counsel.


Expanding the Debate: Jill Stein "Debates" Clinton & Trump in Democracy Now! Special - Part 1

Expanding the Debate: Jill Stein Spars with Clinton & Trump in Democracy Now! Special - Part 2
Jill Stein looks extremely healthy and quite handsome not to mention stately.
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You ( sigh ) once again miss the point.

They are anchored to a 7th century ideology; trying to reach sane ground with them is impossible. All the lives, time, money, & energy we have invested has been a total waste.

  1. They will never ever gain sane ground. They are primitive - - - they are barbaric - - - the entire foundation of Islam is unadulterated ignorance. For 1,400 years, the Islamic band has played on. There is no hope.

The we should pull out, stop funding, let them auto-destruct. 'I don't know what an aleppo is' was the correct answer.

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