Nothing demonstrates how war has changed more than the fact that thousands of soldiers become prisoners of war (POW) or went missing in action (MIA) in previous conflicts whereas now, with the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, there are no American POWs.
What at first seemed very clear-cut almost instantly became clouded in fog. This fog may clear some when the Army makes a formal statement about the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture by the Taliban, but until that point the speculation is running pretty wild.
In the summer of 2009, I worked as an adviser in Kabul, Afghanistan. My team shared a basement with the ISAF's Public Relations team, and the hottest news story during my stay was the recent capture of U.S. soldier Private Bowe Bergdahl.
Perhaps the rulers of nations, learning nothing since the time of Alexander the Great, will continue to mobilize their citizens for war until only small bands of miserable survivors roam a barren, charred, radioactive wasteland.
Long before Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could ever have put his fellow soldiers in danger, certain people advocated policies that would put millions of American soldiers in harm's way.
Last week, President Obama he claimed that "America's war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end." With his assertion, Obama, in effect, declared himself the hero of the Afghan war. But what Obama failed to mention was that it was his war, and that nothing but unattractive scenarios lie ahead for that war-torn state.
Sebastian Junger has managed to find intriguing angles on the deployment and on the longest military commitment in U.S. history in Korengal, which opened on Friday. The new film offers some sober reflection to the visceral jolt that came with Restrepo.
One way or another, the United States owes its service members the ride home. They may face military court, or simply return to their lives, but leaving anyone behind is not right. But questions over Bergdahl's motivations and actions are not what embarrasses Obama.
Our nation cannot continually Band-Aid our wounds by declaring us a national treasure and priority, yet pass us by while our legitimate needs are overlooked. We are the ones who have paid the highest price. We need America to help us heal.
It is hard to fathom. Major elements of the once-proud Republican Party have stooped so low that they are systematically attacking an American prisoner of war because they believe it discredits their political adversaries.
The prisoner exchange would be much more acceptable if the United States was ending the war with the Taliban immediately and withdrawing its forces so they wouldn't have to fight these Taliban leaders again.
Would giving up prisoners who have undoubtedly been replaced by new recruits or promotions embolden the Taliban? It's doubtful, considering that they don't need any more motivation than the "political, religious, and social purpose" they already possessed.
When someone runs for office on a platform of cutting government services to pieces, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that government services under their leadership have been cut to pieces
When I was invited to go to Afghanistan a few weeks back, what came immediately to mind were scrambling images of a war-torn country that had seen many decades of war and foreign interference.
My support of our troops entails the belief that any soldier taken prisoner should be returned home as soon as possible, regardless of the hyperbole surrounding the terrorists we trade for his or her release.
Memorial Day offers an annual remembrance of courage and sacrifice as well as the all-too-frequent foolish and counterproductive effusion of American blood. Most of the conflicts in which so many Americans died were fool's errands, wars which the U.S. should never have fought.