Episode 67: Endless War

(The essay version of this podcast can be found here.)

This episode has been a long time coming. I have had a draft waiting for more than two years, but the events in Kabul this month convinced me that now was the time to talk about America’s forever wars.

Our loss in Afghanistan in the summer of 2021 marks the end of the longest military engagement in American history. What did we gain in the mountains of the Hindu Kush? Why did we think we could succeed where Britain and Russia both failed spectacularly? Why do our leaders insist on indefinite military deployments throughout the entire world?

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In the podcast I mention a British “tactical defeat” in the Third Anglo-Afghan War. This is in error; the British won the war. However, they nevertheless withdrew from Afghanistan afterward. The humiliating and surprising defeat came in the First Anglo-Afghan War in 1842.

I mention that the monarchy falls to a Communist coup in 1978. This is also in error. A military coup overthrew the monarchy in 1973, which was itself overthrown in 1978.

The famous picture of a helicopter evacuating people from a roof in Saigon was from a CIA safe house in the city, not the US embassy.

H.R. McMaster was President Trump’s National Security Advisor, not Secretary of Homeland Security.

Finally, the most unforgivable error is that Dan McKnight of bringourtroopshome.us is a Marine Corps veteran, not Army.

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