Over 20 soldiers from the Welsh Guards' unit of the British Army have died in the current offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Independent (UK) has published what amounts to a wail of grief over the loss of these men in a conflict which an anonymous captain in their unit sees as endless and unavailing.
The author is a veteran of two tours in Iraq, but somehow fighting in Afghanistan is more debilitating. He describes his reactions to fellow soldiers dying:
How long will citizens of the United Kingdom be willing to keep sending their people into this fruitless hellhole? The Netherlands will leave Afghanistan in 2010 and Canada in 2011. Eventually Afghanistan will be a solely U.S. war, without an understandable mission and costing billions this country doesn't have. Just why is the United States so committed to this futility? Can't all the genius of the security apparatus be put to figuring out a less costly, in lives and money, way to ensure that some wackos in caves in distant mountains don't pull off another 9/11?
One gets the sense that our military is hamstrung by its procurement successes: got weapons of massive destruction, must use them. Hammer, meet nail. There has to be a better way.