Magazine article VFW Magazine

Afghanistan: We Are Still in a Fight

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Afghanistan: We Are Still in a Fight

Article excerpt

GIs are still fighting and dying in Afghanistan. But you would hardly know it based on the amount of media and public attention.

There is still a fight here- we live and breathe it," 1st Lt. Adam Swartzbaugh, scout platoon leader in the 2nd Bn., 503rd Abn. Inf. Regt, 173rd Abn. Bde., wrote to the Washington Post last fall. To him, a successful mission was simply "protecting the lives of our soldiers, period."

Indeed there is. GIs continue to die in Afghanistan singly, in twos and threes, keeping them off much of the national and many big city media radar screens.

In 2012, the war did not make the Pew Research Center's top 15 stories, and it was totally omitted from the Associated Press, Yahoo and a separate list of top international news stories.

No wonder that Max Boot, a defense analyst at the Council of Foreign Relations, labeled Afghanistan the "Who Cares?" war. "It is almost as if the war isn't happening at all," he said.

Those who are burdened with carrying out operations see this. And this includes the senior military assistant to the secretary of defense, Marine Lt. Gen. John Kelly, whose son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

"America as a whole today is certainly not at war, not as a country, not as a people," he said. "Only a tiny fraction of American families fear all day and every day a knock at the door that will shatter their lives."

AP reporter Adam Keller came to a similar conclusion. "Families of troops killed in action despair that many of their fellow citizens have neither the time nor the patience to grapple with the complexities of the conflict or to appreciate the sacrifice of the troops fighting it,"' he wrote. …

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