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Military efforts in Afghanistan in vain
Col. Jason Dempsey has served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and says more than 15 years of U.S. military efforts there have been largely fruitless.
While virtually every American supports our soldiers, sailors and airmen, we fail them when we don’t hold our politicians accountable for their hardships and sacrifices.That was the argument of West Point graduate Col. Jason Dempsey, PhD, addressing The Rotary Club of McMinnville last week. We are “disrespectful of the treasure and blood of Americans” when we don’t demand honesty and responsibility from our elected leaders when they send our fighting forces into danger.Dempsey led U.S. troops during two tours of duty in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. After 15 years of fighting terrorism in Afghanistan, he said, we have little to show for our efforts, including some 2,400 killed in combat, another 20,000 wounded and disabled and $700 billion in direct warfare costs.“We’re steadily progressing to a 0-2 record, but nobody seems to care,” said Dempsey.One of the systemic challenges for the U.S. military, he said, is the rapid turnover of American officers and soldiers, with nine-month deployments and only three months for overlap in transferring essential information between existing forces and their replacements.