As someone who was closely involved with the Department of Defense’s Wounded Warrior Program for nearly fifteen years, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects that burn pits have had on our veterans.
If military veterans are dangerous, it’s because they feel betrayed.
I come to this Veterans Day with dread. I often am asked what the United States will learn from its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?
“I think that if we can learn one thing, it’s to avoid reflexive and violent solutions,” said Sjursen. “The truth is, we probably needed less of me, less machine guns, less people who were trained to fight, and more diplomats and aid workers to get at the root problems of terrorism.”
Sjursen was deployed to Iraq in 2006 and then Afghanistan in 2011. On the tenth anniversary of the attack, he paid tribute to one of the fire crews killed in New York.
There is no doubt one question left unanswered as we witness the daily advances made by the Taliban in Afghanistan: what difference did an American presence make? The same extremist group the U.S. sought to topple after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, remains strong, bent but unbroken.
Imagine you’re President Joe Biden. You need $2 trillion dollars to fund one of your stated priorities – infrastructure. You learn of a war plane, the F-35 Lightning II, that would cost as much as $1.7 trillion to buy, field and maintain over the next 50 years. It’s $200 billion over budget, and more than ten years behind schedule. What do you do?