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A tragic failure in Afghanistan. Why Americans should have seen it coming
Editor’s Note: Some of the stories mentioned in this article include descriptions of death, violence and mental health and could be triggering for some readers.
What do you say about a war that has caused so much harm?
How do you put into words the unfathomable amount of tragedy and loss the United States’ failed expedition in Afghanistan has caused — not only in the blood and treasure from the American people, but more importantly, in the broken promises we made to the people of Afghanistan?
The Vet Center therapist who saved my life years ago would want me to take a moment to identify what I was actually feeling, because for so long all I felt after my short 12 months during this 20-year war was rage.
“Jaime, I feel broken. Not just in my heart, but in my core. And I am scared and I’m sad and honestly I don’t know how else to feel about all this,” I’d tell her. I think she’d reply that it’s OK to feel this way, and remind me it has taken years of progress to make it this far — to (mostly) let go of the anger. With time, Jaime may tell me, this will all get easier. This will get clearer.
It is with that small amount of clarity that I can see that the tragedy happening now in Afghanistan was not unfathomable, and I am reminded of the years and years of reports and stories that have warned us that this war would not end well.