Friday, May 28, 2010

War Ratio

"...General Stanley McChrystal speculated that his soldiers in the Korengal were making more enemies every day than they were killing. Last month it was announced that the Americans had been withdrawn from the valley."

"War in Afghanistan: What is it good for?" Review of War by Sebastian Junger, The Economist, May 22, 2010.

This story evoked Vietnam. Challenging terrian, endless patrols, shadowy enemy movements, supply trails, villages caught in the middle, ungodly firefights. The objective?

"War" becomes a love story, which Mr. Junger sees unfold among a bunch of filthy infantrymen on a shot-up Afghan crag."

Young men survived as a team protecting each other -- but in the process sometimes became fatally attached to the "thereness" of war. And then to lose out to the body count/new enemy ratio. Heroism, loss and senselessness.

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