I got a surprise last week when one of my good friends hit me up from Afghanistan to wish me a happy birthday. Hadn’t had a chance to speak to him since just before he left this past January on what hopes to be his third and final tour.
According to him, id he makes it back alive, this is it; he is retiring from the military after nineteen years of service. When he told me that I was surprised because it didn’t seem like he’s been enlisted that long. Seems like just yesterday when we were kicking it just before he went to bootcamp, and then eventually off to Germany. – the first of many stops around the globe including Iraq.
I suppose the same can be said about the war in Afghanistan. It being the forgotten war (unless a helicopter is shot down by the Taliban killing at least 30 U.S. military personel including a very famous SEAL Team) it’s hard to believe that the government is still enganged in battle in that God forsaken shithole of a country. What, the war in Afghanistan is about thirty years old now? I know, I know; I’m kidding but only about half way so. This war, unlike pretty much all other “conflicts” in modern U.S. history has managed to remain somewhat ignored by the media. Which is very understandable given that it’s rarely discussed politically. That is, unless you’re a party hopeful seeking to become president.
Check out what former Republican senator and “beat friend” of president Obama, John Huntsman, had to say about the war to ABC’s Jake Tapper:
We need to bring people home from Afghanistan. This should not be a nation-building exercise when we have nation-building to do right here in our own country. This is a counter-terror effort. We need people in Afghanistan who can collect intelligence, Special Forces capabilities and some element to train the national — the Afghan national troops. But we should not be involved in nation-building.
And we’ve got to basically call it for what it is and get back to strengthening the core of this country or we are of no value to the rest of the world. That light, that goodness that traditionally has radiated over the years, that speaks to democracy, that speaks to liberty, that speaks to open markets and human rights. We’re not projecting that goodness anymore. The world always is a better and a safer place with a strong America. And right now, we don’t have a strong America.
I know, it’s kinda hard to admit that you agree with a Republican; But you know what? He’s absolutely right. However, it’s too bad this war will not be an issue on the campaign trail in 2012. Hell, we have more important things to bitch about… Hopefully my dude makes it home safely.