Afghanistan Isn't Worth Dying For

Daniel L. Davis
Flickr / U.S. Department of Defense

Daniel L. Davis

Security, Middle East

Rewarding broken promises, waste, and incompetence is offensive to the sacrifices of our troops.

Afghanistan Isn't Worth Dying For

Army Sgt. Maj. James Sartor was killed in action in Afghanistan’s Faryab Province on Saturday. He was “only” the twelfth soldier to die there this year. That makes his death no less inexcusable, no less an unacceptable sacrifice for Washington’s failed foreign policy.

What do we tell Sartor’s family? That he heroically “gave the last full measure” for the defense of our nation? In some conflicts in American history, that might have been true. But in Afghanistan, it is a trite and insulting bromide.

This man, like the eleven that preceded him this year, sacrificed his life in an operation that provided no benefit to our country. America is not safer because of this supreme, excruciatingly painful sacrifice. The truth is that hardly any Americans pay any attention to our war in Afghanistan and fewer still genuinely care that another trooper has tragically been killed.

Instead, the entire burden of the grief—the unquenchable, searing pain of loss—falls to a tiny number of family members and close friends of those who died. My blood boils in anger when I hear—as I have many times—some callously claim, “Hey man, nobody forced them to sign up. They volunteered and knew what they were getting themselves into.” This implies that we service members forfeit the value of our life once we raise our right hand.

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