After practically 20 years of combating in Afghanistan, the US is withdrawing all army forces and contractors within the coming weeks — bringing to an finish its involvement in a battle wherein practically 800,000 service members, and numerous contractors, served.
Throughout these years, the technique for securing the nation and putting in a steady and lasting democracy shifted, expanded, pivoted and shrank as new army and civilian leaders got here in, scrapping their predecessors’ plans and finishing up one thing fully new. This occurred so often that the warfare may in identical methods be defined as 20 completely different conflicts, restarted yr after yr, as a substitute of 1 cohesive mission.
However connecting every of those shifts in management and goal had been the servicemen and ladies deployed throughout the nation to hold out these plans. They constructed roads, educated Afghan safety forces, defended territory, carried out evening raids, labored with ladies and youngsters, fought towards the Taliban after which the Islamic State. Some individuals deployed to Afghanistan 4, 5, six occasions — every to a barely completely different model of the warfare. Some by no means made it dwelling. Since 2001, greater than 2,300 service members have died in Afghanistan and greater than 20,000 have been wounded.
The Instances is asking service members and veterans who served in Afghanistan previously 20 years to share your experiences whereas deployed and the way they affected your life whenever you returned dwelling. We’d additionally like to listen to your emotions in regards to the remaining withdrawal. Within the weeks forward, we’ll be sharing a few of these submissions with our readers, alongside our continued protection of the U.S. pullout.
We gained’t publish any a part of your submission with out contacting you first.