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    HomeWorldAccountability and Change Can Help Afghanistan Veterans Make Peace with the War

    Accountability and Change Can Help Afghanistan Veterans Make Peace with the War

    Accountability and Change Can Help Afghanistan Veterans Make Peace with the War

    The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of .com. If you would like to submit your own commentary, please send your article to opinions@military.com for consideration.

    Two years ago, America watched as crumbled before our eyes. Afghans and Americans rushed to escape the country as the Taliban began taking control, culminating in the deaths of 13 troops just days before the withdrawal was complete.

    For those of us who served in Afghanistan, watching those moments unfold in real time was gut-wrenching. It felt like the prior 20 years of work and courageous service were for nothing. Young men and women, some of whom were the same age as the war itself, lost their lives when they were so close to returning home.

    We know, of course, that our service in Afghanistan did serve a noble purpose. We accomplished our original missions there: overthrowing the 2002 Taliban, ejecting al-Qaida, and killing Osama bin Laden.

    But mission creep set in, and nation-building began, causing thousands of American troops to lose their lives in support of these vague operations with little to no connection to vital U.S. interests.

    Looking back, the tragic end to the Afghanistan War and the 20 years of death and destruction that preceded it are harsh reminders that wars must be executed responsibly, with realistic, vital goals in mind. And America's leaders must be held…

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