The U.S. military has completed its evacuation of Afghanistan, bringing a formal end to America’s longest war. The last few weeks have been a solemn reminder of how much the Afghanistan War has cost in time, resources, dollars, and lives.
Concerned Veterans for America Senior Advisor Dan Caldwell commented on the losses endured by the military in the waning days of the evacuations:
American service members, just as they have continuously over the last 20 years of war, performed admirably under difficult circumstances during the military evacuation from Kabul. Thirteen of them – eleven Marines, a Navy corpsman, and a U.S. Army soldier – gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. We as a nation should be grateful for the service and heroism of these warfighters.
Our leaders must make honest assessments of how the war was conducted as a whole. It would be short-sighted and irresponsible to evaluate only the evacuation efforts:
Like with any military operation, there should be a thorough after-action review of how the evacuation from Kabul was conducted, and there should be accountability for any legitimate failures during the execution or planning of this mission. But this review should not be confined to just this last phase of the conflict. The American people deserve and demand accountability for the whole 20 years of America’s war in Afghanistan, not just the last 20 days.
Congress should, in particular, take a hard look at the actions of high-ranking military officers and civilian leaders of both parties who routinely misinformed the American people about the state of the war in Afghanistan. Some of these individuals – such as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley – were involved not just in planning the final phase of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but also the conduct of large parts of the 20-year war.
As a nation, we must learn from the war in Afghanistan, and those responsible for its mistakes must be held accountable.
The cost of those mistakes has been too high to let them happen again.
CVA has joined a coalition calling for an investigation into the full war in Afghanistan, not just the evacuation. Read the letter this coalition sent to Congress.