In a piece in the Washington Post, retired Army officer John Nagl argues that the U.S. has forgotten what losing a war really looks like. Nagl talks about what's been accomplished in Afghanistan, and the concerns that remain.
When you see a U.S. soldier standing next to an Afghan one, the difference is striking. U.S. troops are saddled down with much more high-tech equipment. But many say handing over better devices won't actually be helpful for soldiers who still need the fundamentals.
Reporting from Afghanistan is challenging in more than just a security sense. While NATO sources tend to give out minimal information, local officials often give inaccurate initial accounts. Death counts and dates don't add up, as reporters try to get their stories straight.
Witnesses say a man detonated a suicide vest outside a mosque, killing many civilians and police officers. It happened in part of the country normally thought to be safe, but where another attack this week left five police officers dead.
On a foot patrol in Kandahar, Nick Staback lost both of his legs after he stepped on a homemade bomb. Over the next year, his mother, Maria, became a tough coach as he learned to walk on two prosthetic legs, and together they adjusted to what she calls the "new normal" for their family.
Officially, U.S. and allied commanders say that Afghan forces are "in the lead" on security in their country. But with the transition to Afghan control looming, senior U.S. officers say that's just wishful thinking. The U.S. needs to stop coddling the Afghans, these officers say, and let them do their job.
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