Video by Mark Hannah and Eric Felipe-Barkin
Mr. Hannah Is a senior fellow at the Eurasia Group. Mr. Felipe-Barikin is a filmmaker.
This Veterans Day, about 200,000 American troops are being deployed abroad. In the Video Op-Ed above, the Eurasia Group Foundation, which seeks to make public debates about United States foreign policy more inclusive, interviewed five veterans from diverse backgrounds who oppose continuing the war. These veterans, who served in Afghanistan or were part of the support apparatus for the Afghan war, say the United States should withdraw all troops from Afghanistan.
Their harrowing stories from the battlefield shed light on what they see as an unwinnable conflict in a foreign land. There is, these veterans say, no point in continuing an 18-year war whose outcome will be the same no matter how many more American troops are killed.
In February, The New York Times editorial board called for an end to the Afghan war, a marked shift from its yearslong policy of support. This summer, a Pew survey found that the majority of Americans — and the majority of veterans — think the war “has not been worth fighting.” The trend in public opinion seems increasingly clear. But American leaders remain reluctant to make major changes.