Because we were not fighting a real war, with the massive casualties that normally accompany such an endeavor, we could pretend we were fighting for a worthy cause but did not have to pay attention or worry about waning public support. But this half-assed approach to combat operations allowed a generation of incompetent officers to earn promotions and advance in rank. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and General Mark Milley are prominent examples of this dysfunction.
While the Austins and Milleys worked on raking in cash, the average frontline soldier and Marine suffered. While the number killed and wounded is low compared to the carnage of Vietnam or Korea or WW II, I wonder if the number of returning veterans who have wrestled with PTSD and committed suicide exceeds the total we lost in “combat” in Afghanistan.
There needs to be an accounting and the leaders, both military and political, responsible for this debacle need to be judged.