Paying the ultimate price in Afghanistan

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Apart from the agony of 13 families who lost loved ones just days before the end of the war, what strikes the mind is the fact that several of the deceased servicemen were only 20 years old or not much older. that. Their short life lasted exactly as long as the war.

Two thousand four hundred Americans were killed in Afghanistan during 20 years of war, but the last 13 are the ones of concern to us today. These are the 11 US Marines, an army staff sergeant and a Navy hospital shot dead in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport while helping to evacuate thousands of Afghans who had aided American troops and escaped reprisals from victorious Taliban insurgents. .

Apart from the agony of 13 families who lost loved ones just days before the end of the war, what strikes the mind is the fact that several of the deceased servicemen were only 20 years old or not much older. that. Their short life lasted exactly as long as the war that ravaged them.

Faced with the deaths of the soldiers, the question is always this: was their sacrifice in vain? Did he accomplish something important for the country or for mankind, or was it a shameful mess that should never have happened?

The 13 died trying to save a multitude of desperate people who risked death themselves. With over 100,000 people transported to safety on the airlift that these 13 helped make possible, it can certainly be said that their sacrifice was significant. But in the larger picture of a war that could and should have ended 10 years ago when Osama bin Laden was shot, it can also be argued that the loss of these 13 – and several hundred more in the world. in previous years – has been the terrible, unnecessary result of failed leadership in the Pentagon, Congress and the White House through the administrations of four presidents. While some in positions of authority have spent years painting rosy pictures of a hopeless war effort to please those above them in the chain of command, others have come to consider the ‘Afghanistan as a political hot potato better to throw at someone else.

The direct cause of the deaths of these 13 American heroes was clearly the evil fanaticism of the terrorists of the Islamic State. But at least some of the blame must be shared by a long list of leaders who kept the war going because they feared the end of it would threaten their careers in the military or in politics.

It is a pitiful cause for which no one should have died.

See more cartoons from David Horsey at: st.news/davidhosey

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