America ignores its wars and soldiers, except for useless hero worship. Our death does not cost anything.

Stephen Kerns, outside the village of Aranas in Nuristan, Afghanistan, in the summer of 2007.

Stephen Kerns, outside the village of Aranas in Nuristan, Afghanistan, in the summer of 2007.

November 9, 2007 was a lively morning. I was stationed at Bella, a US military outpost in eastern Afghanistan. Two of our squads have returned from patrols less than a mile away. The Taliban ambushed them. As the other soldiers and I fought off the attack on the Taliban base, we heard the ambushed brothers screaming on our radio. We were ordered to stay to protect the base. Strategy, we were told. I heard the Taliban kill my friend.

A few days later, a memorial service was held. Immediately after: When I proceeded, I was told that there was a patrol. That day we buried the fallen man. We also put our humanity on the ground.

We understood even when we were in our teens and twenties. This war did not win. I asked when I was asking now: Did my friend die for free? Is our blood so cheap?

Our enemies in Afghanistan have revealed why it can’t win.The intercepted radio chatter we have in Afghani, Pakistan, and Chechens.. We got the impression that the Chechens fought us to train against the Russians.And apart from the huge rare earth metals in Afghanistan deposit, China Officially admit The Taliban as a legitimate government because Chinese leaders want to avoid proxy wars at the border. I’m smart.

Afghanistan remains the battlefield of proxy wars. Imperial cemetery.

Invisible in Afghanistan

I returned to Los Angeles on a vacation during the 2008 tour. A surprised acquaintance will ask: Are we still in Afghanistan? I thought I should tell them about my unit. There is no running water. Suffocate expired food. Kill and eat hillside animals. Burn our waste. All the while, the defense company charged us for meals in the inaccessible kitchen. Yes. We were still there, but we couldn’t see it.

American civil-military relations allow us to comfortably ignore war. This is easy to prove: Ask the Americans how many countries we are bombing. Few people know.Or the Washington Post looks to the lack of public reaction report The Pentagon had long manipulated information to justify continuing the war in Afghanistan. The blood of our war is cheap. This devaluation of life is a privileged creature – and it is deadly.

veteran: The American “thank you service” culture is sufficient. It’s a betrayal, not a patriotism.

Our civil-military relations are simple. The army is a family issue. Less than 1% of Americans They served in the army, and many of them have families who served.About 1% of that 10% saw the battle, Probably only once. As in the COVID-19 epidemic, we ask a small number of people to implement many foreign policies, call them heroes, and then ignore them. This strategy has made the 20-year war politically affordable and economically profitable.

Winners and losers

Since September 11, 2001 Top 5 US Defense Company Stock Prices A surge, intercept analysis was found. Boeing’s share price rose 974.97%. Lockheed Martin? 1,235.6%. Defense stocks have been 58% above the stock market since 2001. The American defense industry has won our taxes. The Taliban won Afghanistan, although some taxpayers felt we had revenge on 9/11 and others settled for separation. Is this the result of America asking my friend to die?

Many would say “yes” if the current discourse shows any signs. They consider the military to be corporate minions, victims, or colonists. Others would say, “No, our soldiers are heroes.” Similar cultural divisions can be seen in our police. Except here, widening this inequality goes beyond the swamp efforts to resolve the US police problem. Whether our troops are sinners or saints, they are strangers and consumables – this attitude allows the defense industry to win America’s once huge budget surplus. bottom.

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This situation makes the lives of military personnel cheaper in order to make the war politically affordable.This privileged spiral extends from the decision Against the killing of Osama bin Laden in the Battle of Tora Bora To my acquaintance’s surprise in December 2001, we were still in Afghanistan in 2008, and the Afghans have fallen from the plane. Everyone needs an American war to be politically expensive.

How can we increase the political cost of war? Humanize the people who serve us. Exchange hero worship for empathy at all levels. Stop drawing political divisions around life that you may say in spending. Do more than comment. Organize. vote. Audit the Department of Defense.

The morals we spent to endure the war in Afghanistan were probably the greatest victims of our country. If we do not accept this, we will not be able to uphold our morals the next time the war threatens it. If we fail, we will write another chapter of the American heritage embodied by Vietnam and Afghanistan. We cannot afford another loss.

Stephen Kerns is Harvard Law School graduation We practice environmental law in California.He was a former 173rd Airborne Airborne Brigade, whose army company Selected number, Fighted some of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan War since 2007-08.Kerns Team Afghanistan Power, A non-profit organization that enables rural community development in Afghanistan.

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This article was originally published in USA TODAY: Afghan veteran: defense companies win, Taliban wins, US loses