I've been wondering for awhile how our rulers would spin the news when our Little Wars that Aren't Quite Wars -- in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan and perhaps other undisclosed venues -- produced undeniable, dead, U.S. troops. Such a death is reported today in Afghanistan.
This particular death seems even more wasted than most as it took place in what for decades has been one of the least strategically significant, most heavily fought-over, corners of that unhappy battleground.
The brilliant reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran has written the story of the bloody futility of fifty years of military campaigns across that region. I summarized his curdling tale of waste, futile carnage, private greed, and internecine military posturing around Marja in this book report. Apparently the U.S. is still repeating follies that date all the way back to the late 1940s!
Photo shows U.S. Marines near Marja in 2010, via Wikipedia. The ditch they are hunkered down in is presumably one of those drainage channels U.S. contractors built in the 1950s.