Endless war

Restrepo

Went to see Sebastian Junger’s Afghanistan documentary last night. Great film. Nerve-wracking. Sad. Awful. You watch a guy bawling in the middle of a firefight after he learns that one of his pals was killed. Nothing more heart-rending than that.

After the film, Junger and his co-documentarian Tim Hetherington, answered audience questions. At one point, Junger said something that caught me completely off guard.?? He noted that the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. intervention is just 17- or 18-months away.?? Ten years. A decade.

Of course, it wasn’t a particularly unique insight. It was just that the duration of this war ad never really registered with me.

Junger made the observation when he was trying to answer a question about when the war will be over. The fight in Afghanistan is vitally important, Junger said. The Afghanis don’t want the Taliban back, and a Taliban-controlled country would return to being a giant base for al Qaeda. But the United States is bearing the overwhelming burden in the war, a war that is in the best interests of the entire Western world. As such, Junger said, President Obama would be within his rights to say to world next year, “Either cough up more troops, more aid, more investment, or American troops will start pulling out. If you can’t support this effort, then we’ll all go home and take our chances that terror attacks in Western nations will originate from Afghanistan again.”

Powerful stuff.?? Then I wake up to this Washington Post headline, “Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike.”

We’re not pulling out any time soon.

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